Tottenham v Aston Villa: Preview, Probable Teams, Where to Watch
By Chandrashekar Srinivasan | October 7, 2012 7:08 PM EST
Andre Villas-Boas and Tottenham welcome Aston Villa to White Hart Lane, looking to build on the historic 3-2 win over Manchester United at Old Trafford. Spurs slipped to a 1-1 draw in a midweek Europa League game at Panathinaikos. However, they will hope the familiar surroundings of north London and the Premier League will be enough to secure three points and continue their push up the table.
Villa, meanwhile, travel to this game in confident mood. The Villans beat champions Manchester City 4-2 in a Capital One Cup tie and followed that with a 1-1 home draw against high-flying West Brom.
Where to Watch Live
Unfortunately, there is no live broadcast of this game but catch all the action, in real time, via Gamecast on Soccernet. Kick-off is set for 3pm BST. Catch all the highlights of the day's action with Match of the Day 2, from 10.25pm BST on BBC One and BBC One HD.
Tottenham had a slow start to the season, piling the pressure on new manager Andre Villas-Boas. The former Porto boss had such a torrid time at Chelsea that his appointment to replace Harry Redknapp was not well received by many Spurs fans. An opening day defeat to Newcastle United did not help matters. However, since then, there has been a steady improvement. In fact, Spurs are unbeaten since that game and the 3-2 win over United - the first in 23 years at Old Trafford - was a major boost. A number of new signings - Clint Dempsey, Moussa Dembele and Gylfi Sigurdsson - are now beginning to produce solid performances to match those from Gareth Bale and Jermain Defoe, so Spurs, on their day, can be a force to reckon with, particularly on the counter... as United found out.
Spurs are seventh in the league, with 11 points from their opening six games, and will want all three points from this game against a side marked for relegation, to keep pace with Arsenal and United above them. Sir Alex Ferguson's side faces a potentially tricky game against Newcastle and a slip-up there could see AVB hand his counterpart a second league headache inside a week.
Villa, meanwhile, have Darren Bent to thank for a point in their last game. The club record signing came off the bench to score the equaliser after 80 minutes in a game where both sides failed to convert their chances into goals. But the real buzz for Paul Lambert's side was the 4-2 defeat of City in the Capital One Cup. In the league, they have been disappointing and are 15th with five points from six games.
Last Five (most recent first): D W W W D
Last Result: Panathinaikos 1 - 1 Tottenham Hotspur (UEFA Europa League)
Last Five (most recent first): D W L W D
Last Result: Aston Villa 1 - 1 West Bromwich Albion (Premier League)
Tottenham: The big news for Spurs is that Adebayor should be fit again. The former Arsenal and Manchester City striker spent last season on loan at White Hart Lane and was superb. In his absence, England international Jermain Defoe has led the front line well but the presence of Adebayor up front gives the team an extra physical threat. However, AVB is unlikely to throw the Togo man in from the start, if only to avoid disturbing the growing understanding between his players on the pitch. Expect him to start the striker on the bench.
The other big talking point will be which goalkeeper AVB selects. The transfer day signing of Hugo Lloris has resulted in a real battle for the No 1 jersey between the French captain and American Brad Friedel. The latter has been publicly declared first choice for now but Lloris' performance against Panathinaikos may make AVB think again.
Aside from these issues, Spurs will be without defenders Kyle Naughton, Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Younes Kaboul, as well as midfielders Scott Parker and Jake Livermore.
AVB is likely to return to Friedel in goal for this game and after his poor performance against the Greek side, former captain Michael Dawson is likely to be dropped. That will mean Belgian defender Jan Vertonghen will play left back - where he was so good against United - and Kyle Walker will slot in at right back. Youngster Steven Caulker and veteran William Gallas will play in central defence. New signings Dempsey and Dembele are both likely to start, with Brazilian Sandro acting as the midfield enforcer. This will free Welshman Bale and Englishman Aaron Lennon to run the flanks for Defoe up front.
Probable Line-Up: Friedel; Walker, Caulker, Gallas, Vertonghen; Sandro, Dembele, Dempsey; Bale, Lennon, Defoe
Aston Villa: Lambert's biggest problem is whether to recall Bent to the starting line-up. The big striker was played off the bench against West Brom but scored the vital equaliser to gain a point for his side. If he does play, Bent will be up against a former club (he played for Spurs between 2007 and 2009). There are no fitness issues for Villa for this game.
Probable Line-Up: Guzan; Vlaar, Bennett, Clark, Lowton; Holman, Delph, Albrighton, El Ahmadi; Agbonlajor, Bent
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