The FourFourTwo Preview: Aston Villa vs Tottenham
ASTON VILLA FORM
- Hull 0-0 Villa (Prem)
- Villa 3-2 Man City (Prem)
- Villa 0-4 Spurs (LC)
- Norwich 0-1 Villa (Prem)
- Villa 1-2 Newcastle (Prem)
- Spurs 0-3 West Ham (Prem)
- Anzhi 0-2 Spurs (EL)
- Spurs 1-1 Chelsea (Prem)
- Villa 0-4 Spurs (LC)
- Cardiff 0-1 Spurs (Prem)
Roberto Soldado is yet to score from open play in the Premier League, and the England striker is now heaping on the pressure.
Aston Villa’s striking options are far more straightforward – if Christian Benteke is back fit, he’ll play. The Belgian has missed Villa’s last three matches, but is now close to a return following the international break.
The striker is clearly Villa’s biggest attacking threat, although Paul Lambert’s side did manage to score three goals against Manchester City in his absence.
Until that defeat to West Ham, Spurs boasted the joint-best defensive record in the league, with just two goals conceded in their first six matches. Their back four – including Benteke’s countryman, Jan Vertonghen – will have a point to prove when they return to league action. Spurs can’t afford to drop points too frivolously, with the race for a top four spot looking like being tighter than ever.
Key battle: Gabriel Agbonlahor vs Kyle Walker
LAST FIVE MEETINGS
- Villa 0-4 Spurs (LC, Sep 13)
- Villa 0-4 Spurs (Prem, Dec 12)
- Spurs 2-0 Villa (Prem, Oct 12)
- Villa 1-1 Spurs (Prem, May 12)
- Spurs 2-0 Villa (Prem, Nov 11)
Facts and figures
- 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).
- Indeed, Paul Lambert's side 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%).