Tottenham - Aston Villa Preview: Spurs aiming for seventh win in eight Premier League matches
Andre Villas-Boas' men are in a rich vein of form having beaten Manchester United last weekend while Paul Lambert's side are hopeful of rectifying a poor record against Spurs
By Andy Sixsmith
Walker, Vertonghen, Caulker, Gallas
Lennon, Dempsey, Bale
Lowton, Vlaar, Dunne, Bennett
N'Zogbia, Delph, Holman, Albrighton
Tottenham look set to make changes from the side that drew 1-1 in Greece against Panathinaikos on Thursday evening.
Brad Friedel should return in goal, with Hugo Lloris once more prevented from making his Premier League debut.
The game will come too soon for Benoit Assou-Ekotto (knee) who is still a fortnight away from a first-team return. William Gallas should continue to deputise at left-back.
Aston Villa welcome back centre-back Richard Dunne after a long lay off (groin) and he should partner Ron Vlaar at the heart of the defence.
After impressive cameos in the 1-1 draw against West Brom last week, Charles N'Zogbia and Darren Bent look set to be handed a starting place, with Bent in particular hoping to rediscover his goalscoring touch.
|DID YOU KNOW|
- Tottenham are on an excellent domestic run against Villa, having lost none of their last seven matches against the Midlands outfit, winning four and drawing three
- The north London side's home form is not too shabby either - they've won 14 and lost just two of their last 21 matches at White Hart Lane.
- Spurs have conceded the highest proportion of second-half goals in the Premier League this season (88%).
- Aston Villa on the other hand are enduring a torrid ruin of form, winning just one of their last 16 Premier League games.
- Indeed Paul Lambert's side have only scored five goals in their last 11 away Premier League fixtures
- Villa will be hoping Emmanuel Adebayor (pictured) does not feature on Sunday - the Spurs forward has notched six goals in eight starts against the Midlands side
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Top 3 Predictions
Tottenham 3-1 Aston Villa
- 17.78 %
Tottenham 2-0 Aston Villa
- 15.94 %
Tottenham 3-0 Aston Villa
- 15.15 %
|Premier League (EPL)||20 Oct 2013||Aston Villa 0 - Tottenham 2|
|Capital One Cup (CCUP)||24 Sep 2013||Aston Villa 0 - Tottenham 4|
|Premier League (EPL)||26 Dec 2012||Aston Villa 0 - Tottenham 4|
|Premier League (EPL)||7 Oct 2012||Tottenham 2 - Aston Villa 0|
|Premier League (EPL)||6 May 2012||Aston Villa 1 - Tottenham 1|
|15 Dec 2013||Tottenham 0 - Liverpool 5||EPL|
|12 Dec 2013||Tottenham 4 - Anzhi Makhachkala 1||EL|
|7 Dec 2013||Sunderland 1 - Tottenham 2||EPL|
|4 Dec 2013||Fulham 1 - Tottenham 2||EPL|
|1 Dec 2013||Tottenham 2 - Manchester United 2||EPL|
|-||Moussa Sidi Yaya Dembélé||Midfielder|
|8||Karim El Ahmadi||Midfielder|
Much maligned for his failure to bring in a striker during the transfer window, Andre Villas-Boas must be delighted with the form Jermain Defoe has started the season in.
The forward has rediscovered his scoring touch, having seen first-team opportunities limited last season, notching four goals in six games at the start of the new campaign.
And Defoe, despite being deployed as a lone front-man, will be looking to add to his tally against Villa on Sunday.
With Villa struggling for goals at the start of the season, it came as a welcome relief to manager Paul Lambert in seeing Darren Bent net the club's equaliser against West Brom last Sunday.
The former Sunderland striker saw his Villa captaincy given to new signing Ron Vlaar in an attempt to focus his mind on goal scoring but has had his opportunities limited to a substitute role.
But after last week's game-changing introduction, Bent will be aiming to kick on and provide a further reminder to Lambert of his striking talents.
Tottenham have begun to show signs that Andre Villas-Boas is working his magic in recent weeks - the stunning 3-2 defeat of Manchester United (their first at Old Trafford since 1989) the strongest indication of that resurgence.
And with Villa only taking five points from 18 available at the start of the season, in addition to their recent record against Spurs, it could well be another comfortable victory for the north London side on Sunday.