A shorter preview of the Villa game for my usual readers as I have been very busy leading up to the bank holiday weekend. So after two wins in a row and first back-to-back league victories for the first time since January confidence is high in the Spurs camp. This Sunday we go to Aston Villa for a mid-afternoon 2:00pm kick off. We have been incredibly lucky with our run in this season as we have played teams down at the bottom of the league, with little or no confidence. We have started to pick up wins because of this fact, where as other teams around us like Newcastle have hideous run ins. Having to play Chelsea, Man City and Everton away on the last game of the season seems so harsh, but anything that helps us achieve our goal of Champions League football is good.
So how do we win this game and stop them scoring? To win basically we need to do exactly the same as we did on Wednesday, keep the wingers out wide with help coming from overlapping fullbacks. Also make sure Modric and Rafa get into the game and can start making those team defeating through balls in behind the defence for the wide players to latch onto. Lastly Villa will have Hutton (ex Spurs) at right back, and to be honest he wasn't very good for us and isn't exactly exciting the fans inside Villa park either. Gareth Bale will be up against him, and if he utilises his pace around the outside of Hutton then he will have a very torrid day.
How do we stop them scoring, well because of the height in their team set pieces will be very important to defend well but with Younes and Gallas I feel we will not get bullied. Secondly Villa are a counter attacking team that try and utilise the pace of Agbonlahor up front. If we can close down Gabby and stop the ball being played through him and make Villa play the ball to a different player with less pace (Heskey) they will be less of a danger to our team.
Spurs' form of late has turned around at the right time, with a last five of LLLWW. The first win was the very comfortable 2 - 0 victory against Blackburn last Sunday. The losses indeed were bumps in the road but the win against Bolton at their place most recently was the most impressive. Considering we hadn't won there since 1996 it was a very good result we can take a lot of confidence from. With the news of Hodgson's appointment as England manager this looks to have set a few minds at rest at White Hart Lane and therefore had an impact on our performances.
Villa's form recently has been nothing short of dire, in complete free fall for a while and had they been playing like this for longer they would have been even bigger candidates to drop out of the Premier League. Their last five of DLDLD, is hardly inspiring if you’re a Villa and the two best results in that sequence were two 0 - 0 draws against West Brom away and Sunderland at home. If you’re a Villa fan looking at this game in their current form a draw is the best result you could possibly picture. Another aspect going against Villa is the fact the last time the two teams met Spurs came out on top with a convincing 2 - 0 victory at White Hart Lane.
In terms of injuries we have been lucky recently with the return of Younes Kaboul to the team when it looked like he was out for the season. There is no other injury concerns, apart from the fact that Lennon played with a bruised foot on Wednesday that he picked up in the win against Blackburn. He should however be ok as he played 84 minutes against Bolton and also was very influential. Other than that it's just the long term injuries to Benny, Kranjcar, Dawson and Huddlestone that keeps us from having a full squad.
With injuries in mind below is the team I hope steps out on Sunday at Villa Park:
Aston Villa danger men - Shay Given (GK), Gabriel Agbonlahor (FW)
Score prediction - 0 - 2