Match preview: Aston Villa vs Spurs (My prediction, team news, lineups etc.) A battle for a European place!
Match Preview: Aston Villa vs Spurs (My prediction, team news, lineups etc.) A battle for a European place!
In my previous article, I said that the next two games were winnable, with the last being more difficult… however, we will still need to rely on who turns up. There is still the Conte inbred factor within the team that could fuck it all up. But I am sure that boy Ryan is working to knock that shit out of them.
Anyway, for some reason, this game has been billed as the battle for Europa Conference League football; really? Not the Champions League or Europa League? With football being so unpredictable, how can such people (critics) claim that? Nothing is impossible until the fat lady sings.
Aston Villa welcomes us – I am sure with open arms – to the West Midlands for Saturday afternoon’s Premier League winner takes all game.
Both clubs were on opposite ends of 1-0 derby scorelines last time out, as Unai’ Dick’ Emery’s charges were nullified by their Wolves neighbours. At the same time, we came up trumps (not Donald) against a revitalised Roy Hodgson’s Palace.
Under ‘Dick’ Emery’s supervision, they have come on in leaps and bounds, however, they failed to fire in each of their last two games. Yes, a Villa side experiencing a minor blip of infirmity and could not reignite their European charge at the home of West Midlands rivals Wolves last week (all together now; aaaaahhhh, shame!).
Seeking to rectify their errors from a 1-0 loss to Manchester United at the end of April, Villa succumbed to a Toti Gomes header after just nine minutes, and a combination of wasteful finishing and Jose Sa overdoing it thwarted the Lions’ feeble attempts at a response. Despite all this, a spot in Europe is not out of the question for ‘Dick’s boys, who enter the weekend sitting eighth in the Premier League table and with the chance to draw level on points with us while the Seagulls are sandwiched in between with two games in hand.
As for our team; our game against Palace created a Harry Kane goal, which was needed to put Palace down and get young Mason up and running.
As we were in the dying minutes of added time, I decided to nip out and get myself a coffee or two… it was then that Kane met Pedro Porro’s cross to head home his 209th Premier League goal, overtaking Wayne Rooney into second place in the all-time charts. Apart from that, the game was forgettable for us supporters, but not for Ryan Mason, who claimed his first win from his second spell in interim charge to keep us sixth in the Premier League table.
All this means that we have a six-point gap to make up to Manchester United (which isn’t going to happen!). A defeat at Villa Park could end our hopes of Champions League qualification once and for all, but a nine-game scoring run in all tournaments will at least give us a sliver of a boost.
Saying all that, our away record makes for grim reading as we have gone winless in eight successive away matches since January’s FA Cup triumph over Preston North End, nevertheless, our New Year celebrations were quickly brought to an end when ‘Dick’ Emery led his Villa side to a 2-0 win over our Antonio Conte’s bedraggled team back in January.
Aston Villa Premier League form:
Tottenham Hotspur Premier League form:
Hugo Lloris (hip), Ryan Sessegnon (thigh) and Rodrigo Bentancur (knee) are confined to the treatment room with their season-ending injuries. Still, there is more hope over Clement Lenglet, who came off late against Palace with a shoulder problem. He is believed to have avoided a serious injury and should be passed fit for Saturday’s game, forcing the recently-demoted Eric Dier to watch on from the bench again.
Emerson Royal and Yves Bissouma both made rapid recoveries from surgery last weekend. While the latter was only an unused substitute, Emerson should continue in his fluid role on the right flank.
My possible team starting lineup:
Forster; Emerson, Romero, Lenglet, Davies; Porro, Hojbjerg, Skipp, Son; Richarlison, Kane
Villa’s sensational run of home wins, coupled with our wretched away games, must be taken into account, nevertheless, we have won seven in a row at Villa Park. We have shown plenty of fight in our last three fixtures under Mason, and we were close to pulling off a remarkable turnaround against Liverpool at Anfield.
It can be done; we can win this game… but as I said earlier, it depends on who turns up… Mason’s revitalised boy scouts or Conte’s lost souls. A draw for both teams wouldn’t be helpful. Therefore… with fingers crossed, my prediction is 2-3 to us.
Champions League football will pass us by, but the Europa League or Europa amateur conference League is possible. Then again, so is no European football for next season possible.
All the best,