Match Preview, Tottenham vs Aston Villa.

Match date & time: Saturday 11th April 2015. 3pm GMT KO.

Competition: Premier League.

Venue: White Hart Lane.

TV: Not televised live in the UK. Check out the worldwide TV schedule HERE.

After a really frustrating bore draw with Burnley at Turf Moor last weekend, we look to put the record straight against a familiar face Tim Sherwood, and his Aston Villa side at the Lane this Saturday. Our form has been quite patchy of late which is to be expected after such a disheartening result in the Capital One Cup final, but we still have things to play for. The top four looks very unlikely, but it was never expected in Mauricio Pochettino’s first season in charge, despite an ounce of disappointment in that probably not being possible this season, we have to have a bit of patience, even though I know that isn’t the best quality in football fans! At home to a struggling Aston Villa side, we are the favourites, but this can be deceiving, as a side like Aston Villa have everything to play for, and as we found out against the likes of Leicester and Burnley, these sides will put everything on the line to get points, which makes it extremely tough for sides just like us, who don’t have the pressure of Premier League survival stacked upon our shoulders. We have the quality to get passed these sides but their heart and determination makes our job harder, it means as a team we have to perform at a higher level to victor in these games. Knowing Tim Sherwood as we do, I wouldn’t be surprised if he wants to win this game for his own personal pride rather than the survival of Aston Villa Football Club, so we’re not only battling the will of a relegation threatened side, but also a bitter Tim Sherwood who will want to add to that win percentage.

Villa sit 16th in the Premier League, just 3 points away from the dreaded drop zone. That 3 points is not enough if you’re Tim Sherwood, and our former manager has been looking to find those points, but discovering that it is harder than he might have thought down at the bottom. After losing his first two games as Villa boss in late February, March was good to Aston Villa and helped them pull out of the bottom three of the Premier League with a big 4-0 win over Sunderland the pick of the bunch. But, two games into April, they are yet to win, with a loss to Manchester United, which is nothing to be ashamed of, but also a 3-3 draw with fellow relegation battlers QPR at Villa Park, which is a bit of a missed opportunity for 3 points for the Villains. Let’s hope we can make it a loss sandwich for Tim Sherwood’s men. Last time we faced Villa was back in November of last year, a 2-1 win thanks to late goals from Nacer Chadli and the one and only Harry Kane giving us the win in the Premier League tie. The last time we faced the Villains at the Lane was the last game of last season, under the guidance of now Aston Villa boss Tim Sherwood – we triumphed 3-0 thanks to goals from Paulinho, a Baker OG and an Emmanuel Adebayor penalty. Hopefully we can get a repeat result, but with Tim Sherwood on the losing side!

The team news for Villa is that Scott Sinclair (hamstring), Ashley Westwood (hamstring), Alan Hutton (ankle), Chris Herd (herd) & Libor Kozak (broken leg) are all ruled out of the match, while Philippe Senderos (calf) is expected to return, as Carles Gil (hip) is to undergo a late fitness test for the Villains. That’s quite a backlog of injuries for Tim Sherwood to deal with, but he’ll be hoping that players like Christian Benteke to step up like he did against QPR, with the big Belgian striker netting a hat trick against the Hoops, and after a slow season, he seems to be picking up pace and showing some of his old form, at just the right time for Aston Villa in their fight for survival. With our defensive frailties on show to the world lately, I am sure Villa will be looking to Benteke to make us pay – hopefully we can contain the threat that the Belgian has to offer as much as possible. Along with Benteke, the pace of Gabby Agbonlahor is always a threat, stretching and working the defences of opponents and running the channels, he will definitely be hard to contain. I think we have had a distinct lack of pace in our team recently, so Agbonlahor could really be a thorn to our hopes of winning the match.
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The team news for Tottenham is that Hugo Lloris (knee) and Kyle Walker (foot) are ruled out of the match, while Jan Vertonghen (illness) is a doubt. With our number 1 still side-lined, it paves the way for Michel Vorm to continue in goal after his solid performance against Burnley, ending in a clean sheet for the Dutch international. As Kyle Walker is also on the injury list, it means that either Vlad Chiriches or Eric Dier will deputise for the England international, with DeAndre Yedlin not expected to be close to the first 11, but it would be nice for him to be in the squad. Federico Fazio wasn’t included in the match day squad against Burnley, but with our defensive woes, I think the big Argentinian could be reintegrated into the side, possibly replacing Vlad Chiriches in the centre of defence to allow Eric Dier to fill in at right back, where he has experience from the start of the season.

Our 0-0 draw with Burnley was far from a classic, and our offensive prowess was crowded out by Burnley’s defensive solidarity, but with Aston Villa being a very offensive and open side, it could expose space for our attack minded players to flourish once again. Tim Sherwood is known for wanting to showcase his attacking style of play, so you have to expect an open game at the Lane this Saturday. One player that will thrive in an open game is Christian Eriksen – who has had a difficult run of form recently, but this is the perfect opportunity for the Dane to open his wings again and take control of a game again. His talent is undeniable but he does lack consistency at times, and I don’t think he has fully adapted to the English game as of yet. But, he’s still very young and will only blossom further in England. I’ve said it time after time, but when Eriksen performs, Tottenham perform along with him. Harry Kane captained the side against Burnley, and could captain the side again against Villa, but he needs help in attack otherwise he can be swarmed by the opposition and as we saw against Burnley, he became ineffective, as sadly he cant do everything on his own! That support needs to be from not only Christian Eriksen, but also the wingers that Mauricio Pochettino decides to go with, whether that be Nacer Chadli, Erik Lamela, Andros Townsend or even Paulinho – their job is to supply Harry Kane not only with crosses and passes, but with bodies and support offensively. Kane can’t be left stranded up top; otherwise I think Villa will find it quite easy to deal with him as a unit. I do believe that our offensive threat will be too much for the defensive frailties that Villa do have.

Match stats provided by StatsZone:

– Tottenham have won their last five PL meetings with Aston Villa, netting two or more goals in each game.

– Aston Villa have scored just six goals in their last 12 Premier League matches against Tottenham and never more than once in a game.

– Tottenham have gained 10 points from losing positions at home this season, more than any other side.

– Aston Villa have gained no points from losing positions away from home in the Premier League this season; the only team not to do so.

– White Hart Lane is the highest scoring stadium in the Premier League this season (51 goals).

– The Lane has also seen the most first half goals this season (27).

– Christian Benteke has scored seven goals in his last five Premier League appearances.

– Under Tim Sherwood, Benteke has scored at a rate of one goal every 87 minutes in the Premier League.

– Villa have conceded three goals in each of their last two Premier League games. They have only conceded 3+ goals in three successive games twice in PL history (in 2009 and 2012).

– Harry Kane has scored six goals in his last four Premier League games at White Hart Lane.

It’s a big game. Tim Sherwood returns to the Lane, hopefully to a decent reception. It’s important we return to winning ways quickly against a struggling Villa side, but we have to be aware that this Sherwood side will come into this game like a final and we have to be on top of our game to avoid an upset. The game isn’t shown live in the UK, but I will be updating you live at my twitter account, with goal updates, photos, videos and much more, follow me there @AddictedToSpurs. Let’s get three points! COYS!!

My predicted/preferred side to face Aston Villa at White Hart Lane:
4-2-3-1
Vorm
Dier – Fazio – Vertonghen – Rose
Mason – Bentaleb
Lamela – Eriksen – Townsend
Kane.

On the Forza Football app by @FootballAddicts, the users predicted:

A Tottenham win: 76%

An Aston Villa win: 15%

A Draw: 9%.

Mauricio Pochettino’s press conference pre Aston Villa:

Check out Spurs retro gear by Campo Retro HERE!
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Match Review, Aston Villa vs Tottenham.

Match: Sunday 2nd November 2014.

Competition: Premier League.

Venue: Villa Park.

Result: Aston Villa 1-2 Tottenham.

Aston Villa GoalScorer: Weimann 16′.

Tottenham GoalScorers: Chadli 84′, Kane 90′.

What a win! An incredibly important win for Tottenham Hotspur, Tottenham players and Mauricio Pochettino. After a very difficult performance, with a lack of pace and direction in our play it’s fantastic that we have still grabbed the three fantastic points. But, in all honesty, it doesn’t really matter now! We’ve won the game, maybe getting a bit lucky, but it’s three crucial points that ends a bad run of results in the Premier League. Two late goals that have won us the game and it’s shown the belief and fight in the team that was in doubt, especially after the first half performance. It was a difficult afternoon, but we’ve come out the other side and now hopefully we can push on, with Harry Kane up top!

In the first half, we started well, we looked threatening on the counter attack and we had a plan in place to attack with pace. But, defensively, my God, we were all over the place. We didn’t look able to compete with the power and height of Christian Benteke and the pace of Charles N’Zogbia. It was difficult to get a rhythm into our play, our passing was sloppy and Aston Villa were able to take advantage. In the 16th minute, a bit of sloppy defending from Danny Rose allowed Aston Villa to get in behind Tottenham and slip a ball into the box where Andreas Weimann was there to poke the ball into the back of the net for 1-0. Etienne Capoue and Danny Rose at fault, and Aston Villa then dropped back and closed up in defence to make it difficult for us to make chances and score goals! The best chance falling to Emmanuel Adebayor, who got in behind the Villa defence after a beautifully weighted ball from Roberto Soldado, Adebayor did everything right, got his body in the right position and onto his favourite foot and then didn’t get enough power on the effort and Brad Guzan made a decent save. Half time came, and Villa were ahead.

In the second half, we looked to push hard for the equaliser and then push for the win. We still found it very difficult to find a rhythm, the ball wasn’t sticking to our feet and it looked like we were pushing but it would come to no prevail. Erik Lamela made a slight impact onto the pace of our game and the intensity, but it wasn’t looking like it was going to be enough, and at times we looked a little defeated, like the form book was flicking through their heads every time a chance was squandered. In the 58th minute, Harry Kane came on to every Spurs fans delight and he made the difference. You could see the confidence in his ability, he knew he would get a chance and he was confident he could take it. He came into the side and his confidence made a big difference. He created 2 chances in 30 seconds and gave the side a big lift. We continued to push and then we got a little bit of luck after Christian Benteke lost his head and lifted his hand into Ryan Mason, who did well to rile Benteke up from a Spurs point of view. A red card and now, we had a chance to fight back and at least get the point. The equaliser came from a corner, Erik Lamela whipping it in and Nacer Chadli came in from the back post and knocked the ball into the net for 1-1. Breakthrough, late on, but we had the momentum now and three points was in sight. 90 minutes in, Harry Kane stepped up to a free kick and we got that bit of luck you need in football when his free kick was deflected into the goal. 3 points! Huzzah!

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The team didn’t play well, we didn’t find a rhythm in our play and were overall disappointing. But, it’s an important three points and we can’t complain too much! The man of the match was either Ryan Mason, who showed passion, fight, desire and quality in midfield with his passing, tackling and offensive runs. A big mention for Harry Kane though, who has made impact in the Premier League and now surely needs to have a prolonged run in the team. In form, lots of confidence and goals, what’s not to love! I thought there were a lot of poor performances though, which was disappointing. Etienne Capoue, Younes Kaboul, Danny Rose & Emmanuel Adebayor really having games to forget. Roberto Soldado was lively, he worked hard and showed some great touches but it was unfortunate he didn’t get into those Goalscoring pockets a bit more which has been the story throughout his Tottenham career. Nacer Chadli did well, ran at defenders, found pockets and took his chance when it popped up – impressive.

A great win! An unfortunate performance, but it’s three points and I find it hard to be upset after winning! We now need to build and improve on this win, starting with a win in Greece against Asteras Tripolis on Thursday. Then, we return to Premier League action with a home tie against Stoke on Sunday 9th November. Let’s go! COYS!! Remember to follow me on Twitter: @AddictedToSpurs.

My player ratings for the team that defeated Aston Villa:
Lloris – 7
Naughton – 6
Kaboul – 5
Vertonghen – 6
Rose – 5.5
Capoue – 5
Mason – 8 – Man of the Match.
Eriksen – 5
Chadli – 7
Soldado – 6.5
Adebayor – 5.

Subs:
Lamela – 6.5
Kane – 8
Townsend – 6.

Match highlights of our 2-1 win over Aston Villa:

Mauricio Pochettino’s post match reaction:

Match Preview, Aston Villa vs Tottenham.

Match date & time: Sunday 2nd November 2014. 4pm GMT KO.

Competition: Premier League.

Venue: Villa Park.

TV: Live on Sky Sports 1. Worldwide TV listings HERE.

After our midweek Capital One Cup victory against Brighton, we now return to Premier League action with 3 points on the agenda. Villa Park and Aston Villa await in what will be a tough, but winnable game of Premier League football. Every game is a ‘must win’, but some are more important than others. After dropping unnecessary points to Newcastle, West Brom & Sunderland, as well as losses to Liverpool and Manchester City, it’s time we get that winning feel back to our side in the Premier League before it starts to effect the players confidence and doubts start to creep into their thoughts. We need to get three points and a good victory and then hopefully create a good run of results. In the Cup competitions we have done well, but we’ve been struggling in the League, and now, facing a side struggling even more than us, it’s time hopefully to get three points on the board again, and things look a little more rosy.

Aston Villa sit 15th in the Premier League table, with 3 wins, 1 draw and 5 losses from their 9 games, accumulating 10 points. That’s only 1 point off of Tottenham who currently sit in 11th place, but of course we have to remember that these are very early days. Aston Villa started the season flying, winning 3 and drawing 1 of their opening 4 games. Beating Liverpool at Anfield and Stoke at the Britannia along the way, with was very impressive. But, in their last 5 games, they haven’t got a single point, or scored a single goal, and have entered a very sticky patch in their season. Hopefully, we can take advantage of this and heap misery on the Villains. In recent times, Tottenham have dominated this fixture. Home and away Aston Villa in the last 6 years haven’t been able to live with us. In our last 12 games against The Villa, we have gone unbeaten, winning 9 and drawing 3 since 2008, scoring 25 and conceding just 5 in the process. On paper, and looking back on the history, it looks as though we will prevail once again. I hope that’s the case! Aston Villa also haven’t scored a goal in our last 5 meetings against us, where we have won every time, scoring 15 goals in those 5 games, another 2 or 3 would do nicely this Sunday!

The team news for Aston Villa is that long term absentees Fabian Delph (dislocated shoulder), and Libor Kozak (broken leg) remain out; and they are joined by Philipe Senderos (thigh) and Alan Hutton (ankle) on the treatment table and not available for this game. Andi Weimann (calf) was a doubt for Villa, but looks to have recovered in time to play along with Nathan Baker (hamstring) who scored an own goal the last time the two sides met.

Aston Villa have some good players, in attack and in defence. Up front, we are all aware of the big Belgian Christian Benteke, who recently recovered from a long term injury to regain his place in the Aston Villa side. He lacks sharpness and match fitness, but we know how much of a threat and a nuisance he can be to defences with his presence and finishing ability. The pace of Gabby Agbonlahor is always a threat to any team; he can get in behind you or drive your defence backwards and players who can do that are very valuable, but, his final product has always let him down, although he does have 2 goals in his 8 games so far this season, but of course none in their last 5. Defensively, Ron Vlaar is key to their set up. His organisation and leadership skills make him invaluable to their side and when he isn’t on form, or is out of the team, it makes a notable difference to their side. We saw in the World Cup what a solid player Ron Vlaar can be, but maybe Villa need more defensively than just him. He can’t do it all.

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The team news for Tottenham is that Nabil Bentaleb (ankle) and Kyle Walker (abdominal) remain out of the side, with Etienne Capoue (knee) and Aaron Lennon (hamstring) doubts, and awaiting late fitness calls this Sunday. Hopefully we can get those two fit in time.

All the talk leading up to the game has been about Harry Kane. Will he start, won’t he start. It’s a question being debated by thousands. After his incredible goal scoring form so far this season, it’s hard to argue a reason that he shouldn’t be starting, especially looking at the goalscoring record of his competitors up front. For me, I’d like it if he were to start, leading the line with Nacer Chadli, Erik Lamela and Christian Eriksen behind him, creating and feeding Harry Kane chances for him to try and finish off. I know some will be upset at leaving out Roberto Soldado, who performed admirably in midweek against Brighton, but I don’t want to sacrifice those three behind the striker, I think they all have the capability to win you matches, more so than Soldado at this moment in time. Erik Lamela shone in midweek once again, and showed everyone what he can do with the ball at his feet and in front of goal, so hopefully he can produce a few pieces of magic to light up the Premier League, and hopefully he can get his first, long overdue, Premier League goal. Defensively, Eric Dier didn’t have his best day against Newcastle last weekend, and has played a lot of games, in some ways to his benefit and in some ways harming him, and I think it’s time for a little rest for the young Englishmen who has done a stellar job in the absence of Kyle Walker & Naughton, not in his favoured position we must remember. Kyle Naughton should make his way into that right back slot, and that gives us a better balance to the team, as Naughton is a right back by nature and has more of an attacking ability than Dier, and knows the balance between attack and defence better.

Match stats & facts provided by Opta:
– Aston Villa have scored just one goal in their last six Premier League matches against Tottenham, including failing to score in the last four meetings in a row.

– Emmanuel Adebayor has scored more goals against Aston Villa (7) than versus any other opponent in the Barclays Premier League.

– Adebayor has netted four in four Premier League starts for Spurs against the Villans.

– Tottenham have won eight and lost none of the last 11 Premier League matches against Aston Villa (D3).

– Andros Townsend has scored on his last two Premier League visits to Villa Park.

– Aston Villa have become the ninth different side to lose five successive Premier League games without scoring a single goal. The PL record is seven (Ipswich Town in 1995).

– The last time that Aston Villa went five league games without scoring was March 1992. They have never failed to score in six consecutive league games.

– Andreas Weimann has played a hand in 75% of Aston Villa’s league goals so far this season, scoring two and assisting another.

– Tottenham have not drawn any of their last 37 Premier League games 0-0 – the longest run of its kind among the 20 current PL clubs.

– Spurs have scored more goals in the opening 30 minutes of their matches (5) than Aston Villa have managed all season (4).

Back to winning ways is a must this Sunday! Hopefully we can continue our form in recent years against Aston Villa and take advantage of some of their bad form. The game is televised on Sky Sports, but I’ll be providing match updates, photos, videos & much more from my Twitter account. Follow me here: @AddictedToSpurs. Let’s get three points! COYS!!

My predicted/preferred team to face Aston Villa at Villa Park:
4-2-3-1
Lloris
Naughton – Kaboul – Vertonghen – Rose
Stambouli – Mason
Lamela – Eriksen – Chadli
Kane.

Mauricio Pochettino speaks to the press ahead of the trip to Villa:

Match Preview, Tottenham vs Aston Villa.

Match date & time: Sunday 11th May 2014. Kick off at 3pm.

Competition: Premier League.

Venue: White Hart Lane.

TV: Live on Sky Sports 3 in the UK.

Well here we are! The last game of the season. I can’t really tell whether it’s flown by or if it’s dragged, but what it has been is frustrating and disappointing, with a lot of change and a lot of failure. But also I think we’ve had sparks of brilliance, hope and glimpses of a great future. It’s time to put the bad things behind us and focus on moving into next season with a clear vision and a team hungry to succeed. Aston Villa at the Lane, a chance for the players and Sherwood to give us a nice send off into the summer, hopefully we see some goals, good football and a nice three points! We are fighting for something, the Europa League and to finish above Manchester United, we need a point to guarantee we finish 6th and gain European football next season.

Last time out, we lost to West Ham 2-0 at Upton Park, a dark day. We played with 10 men for a long time after Younes Kaboul was sent off, and after they scored very quickly after the sending off it was inevitable that we would lose. I don’t think we were terrible. With 11 men I think we would have won the game, but it was a difficult day with frustrations running high between the fans and throughout the club. But, we move on, as always, and look to just finish the season on a high. Our recent form against Aston Villa is exemplary, we have won 4 in a row and are 11 games unbeaten, since 2008, 8 wins and 3 draws. It’s a great record we have against them and having won 4 in a row, not conceding a goal in that time, I think we will make it 5 in a row this Sunday. Last time we faced them was earlier this season, at Villa Park, a 2-0 win with Andros Townsend and Roberto Soldado scoring in a very good win with a lot of positives back then. A lot has changed since then, but I still think we will come out on top again, just like we did last time we faced them at the Lane, Steven Caulker and Aaron Lennon scoring in a 2-0 win.

Aston Villa are safe from relegation, so they can class that as a success, but I think the fans will be disappointed that they didn’t push on this season after avoiding relegation last season as well. Villa are a big club and should be much higher up in the table, and now they need to push on next season for a top half finish. Of course it’s been difficult being without their best player, Christian Benteke, through injury for a lot of the season, but they have good players and are under achieving at the moment in my opinion. They sit 15th, with 38 points and are safe, so maybe we can take advantage of them being on their holidays, so to speak.

The team news for Aston Villa is Christian Benteke (knee), Jores Okore (knee) and Libor Kozak (broken leg) are ruled out, with Marc Albrighton (groin) and Gabby Agbonlahor (knee) are doubts for the game. The main threat for Villa is Andreas Weimann, the forward is full of energy and is a good finisher, he has 6 goals this season and recently got a brace against Hull City which consolidated Villa’s place in the Premier League, Weimann is a very competent footballer and at 22 has a big future. Another big player for Aston Villa is Fabian Delph, the central midfielder has had a great season and is a very talented footballer, he is a workhorse but also has a lot of skill and talent, he’s still 24 and has 4 goals this season and 2 assists.

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The team news for Tottenham Hotspur is that Erik Lamela (back), Andros Townsend (ankle), Kyle Walker (groin), Nacer Chadli (hip), Mousa Dembele (ankle) and Younes Kaboul (suspension) are all out of the game against Aston Villa, with Jan Vertonghen (ankle) a doubt but Etienne Capoue will be returning from injury and is in contention to play.

Our outfield player of the season, Christian Eriksen. He’s been absolutely outstanding this season and he’s key to us winning this game, once again. He’s got 10 goals and 10 assists this season and I don’t think anyone doubts that he will be adding to that tally against Villa. Everything good offensive usually comes from the Dane, and I think he’ll be the star of the show once again against Aston Villa. With Younes Kaboul ruled out, I think Vlad Chiriches will play in his place alongside Captain Michael Dawson, at full back, I wouldn’t mind seeing young Ryan Fredericks play at right back in Kyle Walker’s absence and Zeki Fryers play at left back ahead of Danny Rose, I think those full backs give us pace but also both have big futures and I’d like to see that used by Sherwood, even if it would probably mean he’s lambasted by the fans, how much worse can it get! Youth has to be given a chance and he’s been great for that. Sherwood spoke in his press conference (below) about playing a team who want to win and want to play for Tottenham in the Europa League next season. It’s going to be very interesting to see who he believes those players are.

Match stats and facts provided by Opta.

– Against no Barclays Premier League side has Emmanuel Adebayor scored more Barclays Premier League goals than he has against Aston Villa (six).

– The Villans are without a win in 10 league games against Spurs, drawing three, losing seven and scoring just five times.

– Spurs have had loss/loss results in their last four home defeats.

– Tottenham Hotspur have won on the final day of the season in each of the last three Premier League campaigns – all of which have been played at White Hart Lane.

– Should Spurs win this match, they’ll equal their highest number of wins in a single Premier League season (21 in 2009-10 and 2012-13).

– Spurs have had 1-1 scorelines in their last four home draws against bottom-six teams.

– Spurs are the only side to not score in the opening 15 minutes of a Premier League game this season.

– Only one team in Premier League history (Crystal Palace in 1994-95) have gone through an entire season without scoring in the opening 15 minutes.

– Aston Villa have had Over 2.5 goals in their last 10 away matches against top-six teams.

– 21 of Spurs’ 37 Premier League games this season have been played on a Sunday – no side have ever played 22 in a single season on a Sunday.

– Aston Villa have currently won 497 points away from home in the Premier League. If they win this match, they’ll be the fifth side in Premier League history to have won 500 away points.

– Spurs have won their last four home matches against bottom-six teams.

– Tottenham have seen more players net a Premier League goal for them than any other side this season (18).

– In contrast, Villa have seen the smallest spread of players score a Premier League goal for them this season (10).

The last game of the season is always a special occasion, and I’m looking forward to it massively. The game is live on Sky Sports 3, but I’ll be giving you live match updates, including goal updates, photos, videos, vines and much more! Give me a follow – @AddictedToSpurs. Thank you all for reading my match previews this season, I will be back next season, it’s been a pleasure! Please leave a comment down below telling me what you like and how you think I could improve for next season! Lots of love, and COYS!

My predicted/preferred team to face Aston Villa at the Lane:
4-4-2
Lloris
Fredericks – Dawson – Chiriches – Fryers
Lennon – Bentaleb – Sigurdsson – Eriksen
Kane – Adebayor.

Tim Sherwood’s pre Aston Villa press conference:

Match Review, Aston Villa vs Tottenham.

Match: Sunday 20th October 2013.

Premier League

Aston Villa 0-2 Tottenham Hotspur. Townsend 31′, Soldado 69′.

A huge win. It was absolutely crucial we got back to winning ways after our slip up against West Ham, and we did really well against a tough Aston Villa team. Villa Park has proved a good place to go for Spurs, and we’ve gone and win there again, with a clean sheet! We started the game brightly, creating a few chances, but as the game settled down we were not working the ball up from the back fast enough to get any service to our creative talents. We had all the possession, but we weren’t penetrative with that possession, this seems to be a running theme this season. Finally, a bit of luck falls our way when the sensational Andros Townsend swings a teasing cross into the box, it evades everyone before burying in the net. A bit of a fluke, but when you’re Andros, everything goes your way! The pressure we received on the ball from Villa was high, and we continued to find it difficult going into the second half. Christian Benteke entered the game, and we looked shaky, but we held strong and settled the game in the 69th minute with a beautiful goal. Holtby and Paulinho linking up well, getting Soldado clean on goal who finished beautifully. The game was sealed.

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Andros Townsend was phenomenal once again, the young English international is a constant threat down the right hand-side, left backs try their best to contain him but his ability to go either side of the full-back and the speed of his runs make it impossible to stop him in full flow. He gained his first Premier League goal for Spurs, which was a tad lucky, but throughout the match he was direct and made a host of chances for others. Just needs to continue what he’s been doing now for the rest of the season! Roberto Soldado got his first goal from open play in the Premier League, a phenomenal finish in which he showed his ability to be calm under pressure and score goals inside the box. His link up play has impressed me a lot since he’s been at Spurs, and he showed that again being figure head of the attack. Very impressed with his second half performance. Sandro is back! A brilliant performance, a rock in midfield. His tackling, passing and positioning were brilliant, he executed his role of the ‘enforcer’ perfectly, now he’s got his place in the side, I don’t think he’ll let it go. A true beast. Vlad Chiriches impressed me a lot on his Premier League debut, confident on the ball, making some crucial tackles and interceptions. Perfect player to play our high line system, he can only get better the Romanian captain at just 23. AVB used his substitutes well, and I think his starting 11 was also spot on with the players available to him.

We look really good, and this is without players like Rose, Eriksen, Lamela, Kaboul and Dembele in the starting 11. Getting Rose back will be a big boost, and the same with Kaboul. When Lamela and Eriksen fully integrate into the team it’s going to be great to watch. We’ve just got to keep winning games. Our next game is in the Europa League, away to Sherriff on Thursday 24th October. Our next Premier League game is against Hull City at White Hart Lane on Sunday 27th October. COYS!!

My player ratings for the team that faced Aston Villa at Villa Park:
Lloris – 7
Walker – 8
Dawson – 7
Chriches – 8
Vertonghen – 7
Paulinho – 7
Sandro – 9
Townsend – 9 Man of the Match
Holtby – 7
Sigurdsson – 6
Soldado – 8

Subs:
Dembele – 7
Lennon – 8
Defoe – N/A

Match Highlights of today’s game:

Match Preview, Aston Villa vs Tottenham.

Match: Sunday 20th October, kick off at 4pm. Live on Sky Sports 1.

Premier League

We’re back! After the international break, we finally return to Premier League action in a difficult yet interesting encounter with the inconsistent Aston Villa at Villa Park. After our absolutely devastating 3-0 loss to West Ham at White Hart Lane we simply must bounce back with a win at Villa Park. Consistency is key in a top four battle in the Premier League, so we need to get back to winning ways and create the opportunity to go on a winning run with games against teams like Hull coming up, which are no doubt must win games. The players had a break for the international week, so we’ve had to wait an agonising amount of time to redeem ourselves after ‘that’ defeat, and now’s the chance. The break could prove a good thing in some ways, to refresh after a long trip to Russia to face Anzhi. Hopefully we are refreshed and ready to get the three points at Villa.

Aston Villa are a good side, with good players, who can really get up for the big games, so this will be far far far from a walk in the park. A completely different match to the game we played at Villa Park in the Capital One Cup, which we won in convincing style, 4-0. They sit a steady 10th in the Premier League, and they’ll be very pleased with that, it’s been a good start for them. The result for them that stands out is the 3-2 win over Manchester City at Villa Park, a stunning victory, so we know what they are capable of on their day, we need to be on OUR game! Inconsistency creeps in to the Villa team, when after their 3-2 win over City, they fail to best Hull the next week. Christian Benteke should play some part for Villa in the game, which is a big boost for them, a great player and a definite threat to us. Andi Weimann is another who can cause a team problems, scoring goals and being a very direct and skilful player in and around the box. Fabian Delph and Gabbi Agbonlahor are other players who can cause problems for us.

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Andros Townsend has been in spectacular form this season, with Spurs, and now with England. He’s been rewarded with a 4 year deal this week. The world took notice of Andros for the right reasons for the first time, and it’s been great. We now need him to continue what he did for England on international duty against Aston Villa, if he can, I have no doubt he can inspire us to victory. He’s been doing the right things for Spurs, just needs a goal! Hopefully Sunday is the day. The big debate this week has been wether Dembele or Sandro should start, a tough one for AVB, with both players offering a lot to the team in two different ways, Sandro defensively is much more stable than Mousa, but Mousa is technically far superior to Sandro, it’s a tough call, but for the game against Villa, I’d start with Sandro. Roberto Soldado should regain his place and start ahead of Jermain Defoe, I wasn’t a fan of the decision to drop Roberto, but hopefully he comes back and does what he does best, score goals. Danny Rose, Etienne Capoue and Aaron Lennon will not feature against Villa, but Younes Kaboul and Emmanuel Adebayor are back in contention for a place. If Kaboul does make it, I’d start him most definitely.

We have a great record against Villa, so hopefully we can continue it on Sunday, and in style would be nice! A match in which we have a lot to prove. How you respond to defeats is what makes a great team, and this is what we aim to do against Aston Villa. COYS!!

Stats provided by Opta courtesy of FourFourTwo

– Paul Lambert has won more away league games (7) as manager of Aston Villa than he has at Villa Park (6).

– Tottenham are unbeaten in their last nine league meetings with Aston Villa, winning six (D3).

– Andros Townsend has embarked on 50 dribbles in the Premier League this season; more than any other player.

– Townsend has also attempted a league-high 26 shots without scoring a goal this season (including blocked).

– Nacer Chadli has attempted the most shots (inc. blocked) without having a shot on target yet this season (9).

– Aston Villa have not kept a clean sheet in any of their last 14 Premier League home games, losing nine in this run (W4 D1). They started this run with a 0-4 defeat at the hands of Spurs back in December 2012, with Gareth Bale netting a hat-trick that day.

– All three of Tottenham’s away games this season have ended 1-0 (two wins, one defeat for Spurs).

– Aston Villa have gained more points from losing positions than any other Premier League side this season (six).

– Paul Lambert’s side have played the highest percentage of long passes in the Premier League this season (16%).

My predicted/preferred team to face Aston Villa at Villa Park:
Lloris
Walker – Dawson – Kaboul – Vertonghen
Paulinho – Sandro
Townsend – Eriksen – Sigurdsson
Soldado

Match Review, Aston Villa vs Tottenham.

Tuesday 24th September 2013

Capital One Cup

Aston Villa 0-4 Tottenham. Defoe 45′, Paulinho 49′, Chadli 86′ and Defoe 92′.

Great performance, great win and another great clean sheet. We progress to the fourth round of the Capital One Cup, and we did so in style. We controlled the game from start to finish, in the first half it was harder to break Villa down and they continued to press well, but our possession game was very good and as they tried to push us back, we pushed them back with powerful play. A piece of Lewis Holtby magic put in Defoe to make it 1-0 on the stroke of half time. The turning point. We came out of the blocks quickly in the second half and Paulinho grabbed our second of the match and his second in two games from a Holtby corner, a well taken ‘Kung fu kick’ goal to add to his back heel at the weekend! We continued to dominate possession, seeing 60% of it all game, which is always nice. Nacer Chadli took his first goal for Spurs very well, and made it 3-0. Lewis Holtby got his third assist of the game and gave Jermain Defoe his second of the night, and finish it off, 4-0. We were very good, but Aston Villa were not good and made it easy for us in places.

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Lewis Holtby was outstanding, all over the park making tackles, passes and key interceptions. He made three of the four goals and is showing AVB he deserves to start! It’s hard to fit him in to the side, but I think we really need to find a way to fit him and Eriksen into the team. Decisions that AVB will want to have! Sandro dominated in the defensive midfield role, another player pushing hard to regain his place in the side, very good on and off the ball, tackling as always top notch. Paulinho was incredible again, he’s showing that he really is a world class box to box midfielder that can chip in with goals and be a total boss of the midfield area. Long May it continue! Vlad Chiriches made his debut, and impressed in the second half. He was nervy at first, which is expected, but he settled down and started to play his football, coming out with the ball, with sharp passing and making some key tackles at the back. Is Brad Friedel human? The 42 year old goalkeeper still flies to make brilliant saves in his old age, it’s like he’s in his 20’s! Awesome back up.

Great win, and we progress to the fourth round. A good draw would be appreciated, and a home draw! 9 Games, 20 Goals Scored, 1 Goal Conceded, 8 Different Scorers, 8 Wins, 1 Loss. A very good start to the season! Our next game is against Chelsea at the Lane on Saturday 28th September, kick off at 12:45pm, live on BT Sports! COYS!!

My player ratings for the team that faced Aston Villa in the Capital One Cup:
Friedel – 8 – The old man’s still got it! What a great back up keeper to have, surely the best back up in the Premier League.
Walker – 7 – Very solid, good going forward, even better clearing up at the back. Looks back to his best dare I say it.
Chiriches – 7 – Shaky start with a few mistakes, but grew into the game and showed his quality.
Vertonghen – 8 – Rolls Royce in defence. So good, so consistent. Little bit of a pants down moment for him though!
Fryers – 7 – I thought Zeki was very solid. Made some superb tackles, and a good back up for Danny Rose I think!
Paulinho – 9 – Outstanding again, got his goal, but his passing and general game was incredible I thought.
Sandro – 8 – Both Sandro and Paulinho make a great pairing, Sandro the enforcer was brilliant!
Lamela – 8 – First half he was borderline mesmerising. We needed to get him the ball more in advanced areas, drifted in second half.
Holtby – 10 – Can’t find a fault with his game today. Man of the match. Three assists says it all!
Kane – 6 – Was good in parts, a little slow but he contributed quite a bit, should have scored first half!
Defoe – 9 – Another brace for Jermain. Finished them both very well, competition for Soldado!

Subs:
Chadli – 7 – His first goal for Spurs, a great finish. Nice impact after coming back from injury.
Dawson – N/A
Dembele – N/A

Match Preview, Aston Villa vs Tottenham.

Match: Tuesday, 24th September 2013, kick off 7:45pm at Villa Park.

Capital One Cup

We face a tough trip to Villa Park in the third round of the Capital One Cup, our journey in the competition starts here. Andre Villas Boas has stated tad stated that the League Cup is not top priority, and I agree fully. The Premier League is our main focus, getting into the top four is a must and anything else is sadly a distraction. AVB likes the Europa League and thinks we should also have a significant amount of focus on that and I agree again. Winning the Europa League would be a brilliant achievement and one certainly plausible with the side of our squad. I’d love to win the League Cup. It’d be great to get a trophy in the bag for AVB and the boys, but I just can’t see a cup run in the Capital One Cup not affecting our performances in the Premier League and the competition AVB favours, the Europa League. I want to win every game though, so if a suspected weaker team can do the job, hooray!

Villa Park is a really tough place to go and get a result, they have a good team and I suspect they’ll want a cup run so I can see a strong team being put out against us, but it’s hard to call as I can’t read Paul Lambert’s mind on his thoughts on the Capital One Cup and I don’t know if he wants to give the youngsters a turn! Going into a cup game, anything can happen and form means nothing. It’s a totally different game to a Premier League encounter. Aston Villa’s main threat Christian Benteke is out of the game with a thigh injury, which is good news for us, but not them! Andreas Weimann is a great player and has proved his quality for a couple of years now. Good on the ball and grabs Villa goals! Gabriel Agbonlahor can hurt even the best opposition with his pace. He can hit you in behind or run at you with his good dribbling technique. Weimann and Agbonlahor are Villa’s main threats. Brad Guzan in goal is going to be tough to get past. Top class goalkeeper.

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It’s hard to predict a line up. It really could be anything, but, AVB has said that players involved in the Cardiff match will not take part in the game as they don’t have enough time to recover in just two days for the game against Aston Villa, or very few will anyway. With this in mind, I expect all the ‘fringe’ players to get a chance to show what they can do. We have a big squad, but even with this squad we have quite a few injuries. Nacer Chadli, Aaron Lennon, Jermain Defore, Etienne Capoue and Danny Rose are all doubts for the game and the calibre of the players is immense, so it takes it’s toll on the squad. Lewis Holtby and Erik Lamela only had short spells against Cardiff, so I do expect them to start and get some much needed game time under their belts, they will provide a great amount of creativity and I think their performances will affect hugely the outcome of the match. Harry Kane is the striker I expect to start, with Jermain Defoe a doubt with a groin strain and Roberto Soldado extremely unlikely to be risked, it seems he is the only option to start with. Brad Friedel should be number 1 against the club we signed him from, and it’ll be a nice evening for him to go back to Villa Park, although not as nice if we don’t win.

Difficult game as I said, and a weaker team expected to play, but I’m sure it’ll be an intriguing match. The game sadly is not televised, and I’m unsure if there will be streams available, follow our twitter, @AddictedtoSpurs for video’s of the goals and if there are streams, we’ll be sure to post one!

My predicted/preferred team to face Aston Villa in the Capital One Cup:
4-2-3-1
Friedel
Naughton – Kaboul – Chiriches – Fryers
Sandro – Dembele
Lamela – Holtby – Sigurdsson
Kane