Match Preview: Tottenham Hotspur v Aston Villa
White Hart Lane, London N17 - The World Famous Home of the Spurs
Saturday 6th February 2010, Kick Off 17:30
Premier League, Match 25 (24 for Aston Villa)
Tottenham Hotspur: 4th in Premier League, 42 points from 72
Aston Villa: 7th in Premier League, 40 points from 69
Referee: Chris Foy
Assistant referees: Phil Sharp & Martin Yerby
Fourth official: Peter Walton
Fourth placed Tottenham Hotspur entertain seventh placed Aston Villa at White Hart Lane in this late kick-off televised Saturday match with both teams pressing for a Top Four finish to the season. Spurs come into the match fresh from a hard-fought FA Cup win at Leeds United in which Jermain Defoe scored his third hat-trick of the season. Their previous Premier League outing saw a 1-1 away draw at Birmingham City in which Defoe also scored.
Aston Villa's last match was a good 2-0 away win at Fulham in which Gabby Agbonlahor grabbed himself a brace of goals.
Both teams are through to the FA Cup Fifth Round where Spurs face an away trip to Bolton Wanderers while Aston Villa travel to South London where they play Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park. Villa have also reached the Football League (Carling) Cup Final after an epic two-legged Semi-Final tie against Blackburn Rovers. Villa meet Manchester United in the Final at Wembley on 28th February.
The reverse fixture at Villa Park ended in a 1-1 draw with Villa going ahead after 10 minutes through Agbonlahor and Tottenham's equaliser coming from Michael Dawson. Last season the away teams were on top with Villa winning 2-1 at White Hart Lane while Spurs won 2-1 at Villa Park. Darren Bent scored in both games for Spurs with Jermaine Jenas also scoring at Villa Park.
Aston Villa have the upper hand in Premier League meetings with 13 wins to Tottenham's 9 with a further 13 matches drawn. Overall, Spurs are two victories ahead of Villa's 59 wins with 37 matches drawn.
Aston Villa's current squad includes former Tottenham Hotspur Academy graduate Luke Young, who went on to make 56 first team appearances for Spurs.
New arrivals Eidur Gudjohnsen, Younes Kaboul and Kyle Walker go straight into the squad for Saturday's big Premier League clash against Villa. Neither were available for Wednesday's FA Cup replay at Leeds United, although Eidur can now play in the fifth round at his former club Bolton. Younes and Kyle are cup-tied.
Ledley King is fit again and both Luka Modric and Wilson Palacios come back into the frame after being on the bench for the 3-1 win at Elland Road. Roman Pavlyuchenko remains a doubt with a groin problem and although Aaron Lennon is also out with his groin injury, there is encouraging news on his progress. "He's getting closer," said Harry. "He's working with the fitness coaches at the moment. "He's not doing ball work yet but he's running again in straight lines and will soon be checking, twisting and turning again. He's on his way back." Benoit Assou-Ekotto (hip), Jonathan Woodgate (groin) and Carlo Cudicini (wrist, pelvis) remain sidelined. Meanwhile, in terms of the role of captain following Robbie Keane's loan departure to Celtic, Harry added: "Michael Dawson has been captaining the side and Ledley King can as well, it's not a massive problem.
"They are both terrific characters and if it's not one of them, there are many other players who can do it. "Whoever takes the armband I've got faith in them to be able to carry out what I want from them on the pitch."
Aston Villa hope to welcome back John Carew, who has missed the last four matches with a knee injury. Captain Stiliyan Petrov will play despite a troublesome Achilles, but Stephen Warnock (shin) has been told to rest for two weeks. Nigel Reo-Coker is a long term absentee with a foot injury. Villa failed to bring-in any new players during the January transfer window but Nick Shorey joined Fulham on loan while Craig Gardner joined Birmingham City for GBP 3 million.
• Both matches last season were won by the away side by the same scoreline, 2-1. Four of the last six Premier League meetings between the two sides have ended 2-1.
• Aston Villa's win at Tottenham last season ended a run of eight trips to White Hart Lane without a victory.
• In-form striker Jermain Defoe has scored four goals in his last five Premier League starts against Villa.
• Spurs have kept four clean sheets in a row at White Hart Lane, which is only the second time they have done this in the Premier League. Both these times have been under Harry Redknapp (last season they kept six clean sheets on the spin at home).
• Jermain Defoe and Peter Crouch have scored 28 goals in the 28 Premier League matches they have started together.
• Only Manchester United have managed to score more than once against Spurs in the last 29 Premier League games at White Hart Lane.
• Aston Villa have won just five of their last 17 Premier League matches away from home, but three of those victories have come in their last four trips on the road.
• Villa have only failed to score in one of their last 15 league away matches.
• Martin O'Neill's side ended a run of four league matches without a goal when they beat Fulham last weekend.
LAST MATCH LINE-UPS:
Tottenham Hotspur (W 3-1 Leeds United A):
Gomes, Corluka, Dawson, Bassong, Bale, Bentley, Palacios, Huddlestone, Jenas, Kranjcar, Defoe, Crouch.
Substitutes: Alnwick, Dervite, Modric, Parrett, Palacios, Rose, Fredericks
Yellow Card: Bentley
Goals: Defoe 37, 73, 90+
Aston Villa (W 2-0 Fulham A):
Friedel, L Young, Dunne, Cuellar, Collins, Downing, A Young, Milner, Petrov, Agbonlahor, Heskey
Substitutes: Guzan, Davies, Shorey, Beye, Sidwell, Delph, Delfouneso
Yellow cards: Heskey, L Young
Goals: Agbonlahor 40, 44
MARK LAWRENSON'S PREDICTION (BBC):
I was very impressed with how Tottenham dealt with the challenge of Leeds on Wednesday and they will throw everything at Villa. But these sorts of games suit Villa because of the way they play on the counter-attack. But I think striker Jermain Defoe looks so sharp, his partnership with Peter Crouch has improved and winger David Bentley's form has improved. I think they'll be a real handful for Villa's back four.
Verdict: Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 Aston Villa
Saturday's match will be the 158th meeting between Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa.
The two clubs have twice met at Wembley - in the 1971 League Cup Final with Spurs winning 2-0 and in the 1981 Charity Shield, resulting in a 2-2 draw.
Here are the results of the previous 157 matches with Spurs' score shown first:
11-Apr-1896 Friendly - H L 1 - 3 Logan 23-Jan-1897 Friendly - H D 2 - 2 Lanham (2) 25-Apr-1898 Friendly - H L 2 - 3 Hartley, Black 21-Apr-1900Friendly - A L 3 - 4 Cameron, Copeland (2) 07-Mar-03F.A. Cup 3 24,500H L 2 - 3 Woodward, Copeland 20-Feb-04F.A. Cup 2 32,000H X 0 - 1 (Abandoned due to crowd trouble after 38 mins) 25-Feb-04F.A. Cup 2 Replay30,000A W 1 - 0 Jones J. 20-Nov-09Division 1 25,000A L 2 - 3 Minter, Steel R 02-Apr-10Division 1 34,000H D 1 - 1 Humphreys 19-Nov-10Division 1 28,000H L 1 - 2 Humphreys 25-Feb-11Division 1 17,000A L 0 - 4 18-Nov-11Division 1 30,000A D 2 - 2 R Steel (2) 23-Mar-12Division 1 19,000H W 2 - 1 Middlemiss (2) 26-Oct-12Division 1 18,000H D 3 - 3 Cantrell (2), Middlemiss 01-Mar-13Division 1 27,000A L 0 - 1 13-Dec-13Division 1 30,000A D 3 - 3 Walden, Cantrell, Bliss 18-Apr-14Division 1 22,000H L 0 - 2 24-Oct-14Division 1 25,000H L 0 - 2 27-Feb-15Division 1 16,000A L 1 - 3 Bliss 06-Mar-20F.A. Cup 4 52,179H L 0 - 1 11-Sep-20Division 1 55,000A L 2 - 4 Walden, Dimmock 18-Sep-20Division 1 42,000H L 1 - 2 Bliss 05-Mar-21F.A. Cup 4 51,991H W 1 - 0 Banks 24-Sep-21Division 1 47,017H W 3 - 1 Clay (pen), Seed, Bliss 01-Oct-21Division 1 40,000A L 1 - 2 Dimmock 07-Oct-22Division 1 50,000A L 0 - 2 14-Oct-22Division 1 43,252H L 1 - 2 Seed 15-Mar-24Division 1 30,000A D 0 - 0 22-Mar-24Division 1 28,771H L 2 - 3 Lindsay, Elkes 01-Nov-24Division 1 19,054H L 1 - 3 Handley 07-Mar-25Division 1 25,000A W 1 - 0 Lane 05-Dec-25Division 1 28,821H D 2 - 2 Osborne, Elkes 17-Apr-26Division 1 11,774A L 0 - 3 06-Nov-26Division 1 19,496A W 3 - 2 Seed (2), Dimmock 26-Mar-27Division 1 30,614H L 0 - 1 12-Nov-27Division 1 30,759A W 2 - 1 Osborne (2) 26-Mar-28Division 1 21,537H W 2 - 1 Grimsdell (pen), Lindsay 02-Sep-33Division 1 44,974H W 3 - 2 O'Callaghan, Hunt GS, Evans W (pen) 06-Jan-34Division 1 35,296A W 5 - 1 Meads, McCormick (2), Howe, Hunt GS 17-Feb-34F.A. Cup 5 44,365H L 0 - 1 22-Sep-34Division 1 42,088H L 0 - 2 02-Feb-35Division 1 36,973A L 0 - 1 07-Nov-36Division 2 37,220A D 1 - 1 Morrison 13-Mar-37Division 2 35,652H D 2 - 2 Meek, Miller 04-Dec-37Division 2 37,238H W 2 - 1 Hall GW, Morrison 16-Apr-38Division 2 43,730A L 0 - 2 02-Feb-46Football Lge Sth 30,736A L 1 - 5 Burgess 20-Feb-46Football Lge Sth 19,300H W 3 - 0 Jinks (2), Whitchurch 30-Sep-50Division 1 36,538A W 3 - 2 Murphy, Duquemin, Medley 17-Feb-51Division 1 47,842H W 3 - 2 Ramsey (pen), Baily, Medley 20-Oct-51Division 1 49,247H W 2 - 0 Bennett, Duquemin 08-Mar-52Division 1 56,475A W 3 - 0 Walters, Duquemin (2) 22-Nov-52Division 1 32,265A W 3 - 0 Bennett, Duquemin, Dicker 11-Apr-53Division 1 39,217H D 1 - 1 McClellan 19-Aug-53Division 1 50,202H W 1 - 0 Parkes og 12-Dec-53Division 1 27,480A W 2 - 1 Walters, Baily 21-Aug-54Division 1 44,193A W 4 - 2 Dowsett, Bennett (2), Baily 18-Dec-54Division 1 28,131H D 1 - 1 Baily 26-Nov-55Division 1 23,836A W 2 - 0 Clarke, McClellan 07-Apr-56Division 1 36,235H W 4 - 3 McClellan, Harmer, Smith R, Brooks 15-Sep-56Division 1 43,947A W 4 - 2 Harmer, Smith R, Stokes, Robb 19-Jan-57Division 1 38,934H W 3 - 0 Smith R, Stokes (2) 16-Nov-57Division 1 28,390A D 1 - 1 Smith R 29-Mar-58Division 1 34,102H W 6 - 2 Medwin (2), Smith R (4) 27-Mar-59Division 1 45,059H W 3 - 2 Medwin, Smith R, Jones 30-Mar-59Division 1 34,354A D 1 - 1 Norman 24-Sep-60Division 1 61,356H W 6 - 2 Mackay, White (2), Smith R, Allen, Dyson 11-Feb-61Division 1 50,786A W 2 - 1 Smith R, Dyson 18-Feb-61F.A. Cup 5 65,474A W 2 - 0 Jones, Neil og 30-Sep-61Division 1 38,099H W 1 - 0 Dyson 21-Feb-62Division 1 49,892A D 0 - 0 10-Mar-62F.A. Cup 6 64,000H W 2 - 0 Blanchflower, Jones 20-Aug-62Division 1 55,630A L 1 - 2 Medwin 29-Aug-62Division 1 55,650H W 4 - 2 White, Greaves (2), Jones 16-Sep-63Division 1 36,643A W 4 - 2 Jones, Greaves (2), Dyson 25-Jan-64Division 1 36,394H W 3 - 1 Posse, Greaves, Dyson 21-Nov-64Division 1 29,724H W 4 - 0 Mullery, Robertson, Greaves, Dyson 19-Mar-66Division 1 28,371H D 5 - 5 Brown L, Robertson, Greaves, Saul, Gilzean 03-Apr-65Division 1 24,930A L 0 - 1 25-Sep-65Division 1 29,856A L 2 - 3 Norman, Robertson 29-Oct-66Division 1 31,014H L 0 - 1 04-Mar-67Division 1 31,718A D 3 - 3 Mullery, England, Gilzean 04-Sep-68League Cup 2 24,775A W 4 - 1 Jones, Chivers (3) 12-Feb-69F.A. Cup 5 49,986H W 3 - 2 England, Greaves (2, 1pen) 17-May-69Tour - ND 2 - 2 Greaves (2) (Match played in Atlanta, USA) 27-Feb-71League Cup Final 100,000W W 2 - 0 Chivers (2) 02-Aug-72Friendly - A D 0 - 0 11-Oct-75Division 1 40,048A D 1 - 1 Pratt 13-Mar-76Division 1 24,169H W 5 - 2 McAllister, Perryman, Duncan, Robinson, Nicholl og 20-Apr-77Division 1 42,047A L 1 - 2 Armstrong 30-Apr-77Division 1 30,690H W 3 - 1 Hoddle, Jones, Taylor 23-Aug-78Division 1 47,892H L 1 - 4 Hoddle (pen) 24-Mar-79Division 1 35,486A W 3 - 2 Jones, Hoddle (2) 15-Dec-79Division 1 30,555H L 1 - 2 Ardiles 26-Apr-80Division 1 29,549A L 0 - 1 18-Oct-80Division 1 30,940A L 0 - 3 21-Mar-81Division 1 35,091H W 2 - 0 Archibald, Crooks 22-Aug-81Charity Shield 92,500W D 2 - 2 Falco (2) 05-Sep-81Division 1 31,265H L 1 - 3 Villa 13-Feb-82F.A. Cup 5 43,419H W 1 - 0 Falco 17-Feb-82Division 1 23,877A D 1 - 1 Crooks 30-Oct-82Division 1 25,992A L 0 - 4 23-Mar-83Division 1 22,455H W 2 - 0 Falco (2) 27-Dec-83Division 1 30,125A D 0 - 0 18-Apr-84Division 1 18,668H W 2 - 1 Roberts (pen), Mabbutt 22-Sep-84Division 1 22,409A W 1 - 0 Chiedozie 30-Mar-85Division 1 27,971H L 0 - 2 30-Nov-85Division 1 14,099A W 2 - 1 Mabbutt, Falco 03-May-86Division 1 14,854H W 4 - 2 Falco (2), Allen C (2) 23-Aug-86Division 1 24,712A W 3 - 0 Allen C (3) 24-Jan-87Division 1 19,121H W 3 - 0 Hodge (2), Claesen 28-Oct-87League Cup 3 29,114A L 1 - 2 Ardiles 29-Oct-88Division 1 26,238A L 1 - 2 Fenwick (pen) 01-Mar-89Division 1 19,090H W 2 - 0 Waddle (2) 09-Sep-89Division 1 24,769A L 0 - 2 21-Feb-90Division 1 32,472H L 0 - 2 29-Sep-90Division 1 34,939H W 2 - 1 Lineker, Allen 16-Mar-91Division 1 32,638A L 2 - 3 Samways, Allen 07-Sep-91Division 1 33,096A D 0 - 0 05-Jan-92F.A. Cup 3 29,316A D 0 - 0 14-Jan-92F.A. Cup 3 Replay25,462H L 0 - 1 04-Apr-92Division 1 26,370H L 2 - 5 Lineker, Teale og. 21-Nov-92FA Prem 32,852H D 0 - 0 10-Mar-93FA Prem 37,727A D 0 - 0 28-Aug-93FA Prem 32,498A L 0 - 1 12-Jan-94League Cup 5 31,408H L 1 - 2 Caskey 02-Mar-94FA Prem 17,452H D 1 - 1 Rosenthal 19-Nov-94FA Prem 26,889H L 3 - 4 Sheringham, Klinsmann, Bosnich og 25-Jan-95FA Prem 40,017A L 0 - 1 23-Aug-95FA Prem 26,598H L 0 - 1 21-Jan-96FA Prem 35,666A L 1 - 2 Fox 12-Oct-96FA Prem 32,840H W 1 - 0 Nielsen 19-Apr-97FA Prem 39,339A D 1 - 1 Vega 27-Aug-97FA Prem 26,317H W 3 - 2 Ferdinand (2), Fox 26-Dec-97FA Prem 38,644A L 1 - 4 Calderwood 07-Nov-98FA Prem 39,241A L 2 - 3 Anderton (pen), Vega 13-Mar-99FA Prem 35,963H W 1 - 0 Sherwood 29-Dec-99FA Prem 39,217A D 1 - 1 Sherwood 15-Apr-2000FA Prem 35,304H L 2 - 4 Iversen, Armstrong 11-Nov-00FA Prem 33,608A L 0 - 2 28-Apr-01FA Prem 36,096H D 0 - 0 18-Aug-01FA Prem 36,059H D 0 - 0 29-Dec-01FA Prem 41,134A D 1 - 1 Ferdinand 24-Aug-02FA Prem 35,384H W 1 - 0 Redknapp 18-Jan-03FA Prem 38,576A W 1 - 0 Sheringham 23-Nov-03FA Prem 33,140H W 2 - 1 Ricketts, Keane 01-May-04FA Prem 42,573A L 0 - 1 22-Nov-04FA Prem 35,702A L 0 - 1 30-Apr-05FA Prem 36,078H W 5 - 1 Kanoute (2), King, Reid, Kelly 17-Sep-05FA Prem 33,686A D 1 - 1 Keane 21-Jan-06FA Prem 36,243H D 0 - 0 14-Oct-06FA Prem 42,551A D 1 - 1 Angel og 26-Dec-06FA Prem 35,293H W 2 - 1 Defoe (2) 01-Oct-07FA Prem 36,094H D 4 - 4 Berbatov, Chimbonda, Keane (pen), Kaboul 01-Jan-08FA Prem 41,609A L 1 - 2 Defoe 15-Sep-08FA Prem 36,075H L 1 - 2 Bent 14-Mar-09FA Prem 41,205 A W 2 - 1 Jenas, Bent 28-Nov-09FA Prem 39,866A D 1 - 1 Dawson
LAST TIME WE MET...
ASTON VILLA 1-1 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR
Villa Park, Premier League, 28th November 2009
JMichael Dawson's late equaliser gave Tottenham a fully deserved point at Aston Villa in the battle between two sides with sights set on the Champions League places. Gabriel Agbonlahor scrambled home the opener for Villa in the 10th minute after Benoit Assou-Ekotto cleared Carlos Cuellar's header off the line. But Spurs - who started sluggishly before dominating in the second half - crowned a period of sustained pressure on the Villa goal when Dawson fired an emphatic finish high past Brad Friedel with 13 minutes remaining. Dawson's goal was just reward for the supremacy shown by Spurs and Harry Redknapp will draw far more encouragement in the battle to gatecrash the Premier League's established top four than his Villa counterpart Martin O'Neill.
Villa barely troubled Tottenham keeper Heurelho Gomes after the early exchanges, while Friedel twice saved well from Niko Kranjcar - and they also had a double escape in the first half when the keeper saved from Jermain Defoe and Cuellar cleared Dawson's follow-up effort off the line. The result keeps Spurs in third place ahead of Arsenal's meeting with Chelsea on Sunday and in the game's closing stages it was the visitors, more adventurous and composed than Villa, who looked more likely to snatch all three points. Villa boss O'Neill resisted the temptation to give a first start to summer signing Stewart Downing - leaving his £12m summer purchase from Middlesbrough on the bench after his brief appearance as a substitute at Burnley last Saturday. Tottenham were first to threaten when Kranjcar's rising shot tested Friedel, but the Villa keeper was well positioned to turn his effort over the top in some comfort.
Villa's power in the air at set-pieces was going to pose an obvious problem for Spurs and it reaped a swift reward as they went ahead after only 10 minutes. Assou-Ekotto scrambled Cuellar's header off the line and Agbonlahor reacted quicker than Wilson Palacios and Dawson to bundle the ball home. The Londoners were slow to get into their stride, but twice came close to equalising within seconds after 20 minutes. Defoe's close-range effort was palmed away by Friedel and Cuellar was on hand to clear Dawson's effort off the line from the rebound. And as Spurs finally posed a threat, Tom Huddlestone's shot brought another competent save from Friedel and Defoe's instinctive volley flew on to the roof of the net as Villa lived dangerously.
Villa's trademark pace and power were troubling Tottenham on the counter, but the visitors were carving out more chances and Kranjcar was once again denied by Friedel three minutes after the break when he dived to his left to save the Croatian's crisply struck drive. Spurs boss Redknapp made a change after 65 minutes, sending on Jermaine Jenas for Palacios and counterpart O'Neill quickly followed suit as he replaced Nigel Reo-Coker with Steve Sidwell. The midfielder almost made an instant impact with a shot that swerved wide - and seconds later the visitors saw their hopes of an equaliser dashed by referee Phil Dowd. Defoe turned the ball in from six yards after Huddlestone's effort bounced off Sidwell, but Dowd saw that the striker had handled before applying the crucial final touch.
Spurs did not have to wait long to deservedly draw level, and it came courtesy of a spectacular finish from defender Dawson, who chested the ball down before crashing a right-foot shot high past Friedel after Assou-Ekotto's cross was only partially cleared by Richard Dunne. Villa substitute Emile Heskey almost gave them a victory they barely merited, but Defoe nearly did likewise as Tottenham came forward one last time with a low shot that fizzed inches wide.
Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill:
"We played very well in the first half and tried to close them down as quickly as we could.
"In the second half they got to grips with the midfield but we also lost momentum and rhythm and couldn't get out of defence quickly enough.
"But overall I was pleased with our defenders considering we had to change it around."
Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp:
"Villa are going to be up there (challenging for a top four place). The top two will probably be Chelsea and Manchester United, then will come Arsenal and Liverpool.
"Then it is Manchester City, Aston Villa and ourselves.
"One of us might break into the top four. It's not impossible for us. It'll be hard but we have very good players."
Friedel, L Young, Dunne, Beye, Cuellar, A Young, Milner, Petrov, Reo-Coker (Sidwell 71), Carew (Heskey 75), Agbonlahor
Substitutes: Guzan, Clarke, Downing, Delph, Gardner
Goal: Agbonlahor 10
Gomes, Bassong, Dawson, Corluka, Assou-Ekotto, Huddlestone, Lennon, Palacios (Jenas 66), Kranjcar (Keane 78), Crouch, Defoe
Substitutes: Alnwick, Hutton, Bale, Bentley, Rose
Yellow Card: Huddlestone
Goal: Dawson 77
Ref: Dowd, Attendance: 39,866