After seeing most of their rivals pick up convincing wins on Saturday, Tottenham will know nothing but three points will do when they travel to Aston Villa in the English Premier League.
The only game on Sunday features a side looking to bounce back, after an embarrassing defeat home, against a team that are unbeaten in their last three, and hoping to have their talisman striker back from injury.
Tottenham's Gylfi Sigurdsson celebrates with Roberto Soldado after scoring against Norwich City in the English Premier League, September 14
Spurs were thumped 3-0 by West Ham a couple of weeks back, which saw them lose pace with Arsenal at the top of the standings. Now their great North London rivals are all of six points ahead, after the Gunners' brilliant 4-1 win over Norwich.
So, Andre Villas-Boas will know the importance of picking up all three points at Villa Park on Sunday.
"West Ham was a pity for us," Villas-Boas said. "We had the opportunity to be first, that's why everybody felt disappointed. I think it shows how the league is this season, so tight and unpredictable, anything can happen in a week and change dramatically, so we understand that we needed to do better.
"We have already got together with the team to go through the mistakes and we want to give a good response at Villa."
Villa have a poor record against Spurs in recent seasons, with Tottenham unbeaten in their last 10 matches against the Midlands side in all competitions, including two 4-0 wins in the last two games at Villa Park.
"We have been successful recently over there but it doesn't mean that you will be again, football changes very quickly," Villas-Boas added. "It's always difficult to play against Villa, a great, great stadium with lots of pressure. We are aware of their strengths and hopefully the team can respond in the right manner."
Team News: Villa manager Paul Lambert hopes to have Christian Benteke available, after the Belgian striker missed the last three games with injury. The Belgian was heavily linked with a move to Spurs in the summer, and it will be interesting to see how the striker fares, if passed fit on Sunday.
Jores Okore and Charles N'Zogbia are ruled out long-term for Villa.
Spurs welcome back winger Aaron Lennon from injury, after the Englishman missed the last 11 games. Midfielder Etienne Capoue and left-back Danny Rose, though, are still sidelined.
Key men: Aston Villa: Gabriel Agbonlahor has the ability to give any fullback a torrid time and Kyle Walker, not known for his defensive ability, will have to be on his toes if he is to prevent the Villa forward from being too influential.
Tottenham: All eyes will be on Andros Townsend, after the winger's impressive performances for England in his first two caps. However, Villas-Boas insisted in-form or no form, Townsend is not guaranteed a starting spot, with Spurs having plenty of options in the wide area. "It's a question of what serves the team and who's performing better," Villas-Boas said.
"Whenever someone is doing well they deserve to keep their place. [Townsend] knows he has tough competition for his place, not just from (Erik) Lamela and (Aaron) Lennon but (Gylfi) Sigurdsson and (Nacer) Chadli. He will continue to deliver, that's what we want.
"There are only two wide positions up for grabs and they all have to compete. He knows that, but performances like this keep your place in the team for Tottenham and England. Whenever he has been called up by myself or Roy Hodgson, he has given great performances individually."
Where to watch
Expected lineups: Aston Villa: Guzan; Bacuna, Vlaar, Clark, Luna; El Ahmadi, Westwood, Delph; Weimann, Benteke, Agbonlahor.
Tottenham: Lloris; Walker, Dawson, Vertonghen, Naughton; Paulinho, Dembele; Townsend, Eriksen, Sigurdsson; Soldado.
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