Aston Villa travel to White Hart Lane this saturday in desperate need of a win as they seek to distance themselves from the relegation zone. The game also marks Tim Sherwood’s first return to North London since Spurs’ chairman Daniel Levy relieved him of his duties at the end of last season.
Here’s what you need to know about Saturday’s game:
Tottenham Hotspur vs. Aston Villa
Saturday April 11, 10am Eastern / 3pm BST
White Hart Lane, London
Tottenham Hotspur 4/7, Aston Villa 3/1, Draw 9/2 (Sky Bet)
Aston Villa 1, Tottenham Hotspur 2 on November 2 2014 at Villa Park
Scouting Tottenham Hotspur
Mauricio Pochettino’s Spurs come into the game off the back of a disappointing 0-0 draw against struggling Burnley last weekend, as well as less than inspiring 1-0 win over bottom-placed Leicester City before March’s international break. No Premier League team has played more football than Spurs this season, and it’s likely the effects of having already played 51 games this season is starting to take its toll.
Spurs will nevertheless be looking for a victory to solidify their place in the Europa League spots while maintaining a modicum of hope in the race for fourth place: the North Londoners currently sit seven points behind Manchester City with seven games to play. They’ll be looking to star striker Harry Kane and midfield maestro Christian Erikssen for goals: the pair scored both Spurs’ strikes against Villa when the two met earlier in the season, and together have 38 goals between them.
Scouting Aston Villa
Aston Villa travel to White Hart Lane this Saturday in desperate need of a win. Sitting just three points above the drop zone and having played a game more than relegation rivals Hull City and Burnley, a victory against Tottenham Hotspur will do their survival chances the power of good.
The Villians come into the game having notched up just one point from their last three Premier League fixtures, including a 3-3 draw at home to fellow relegation battlers QPR. While not the result they required, the game did at least mark a return to form for Christian Benteke, who notched up a hat-trick. The Belgian striker, who was sent off in the corresponding fixture earlier in the season, will need to be on the mark again this Saturday if Villa are to stand any chance of securing a result: the Brummies have the worst shots per game record in the Premier League.
The match also marks Tim Sherwood’s first return to the club he both played for and, for six months last season, managed: he’ll be eager to get one over his old side.
Villa have just six games remaining this season, and history dictates they need at least 38 points to guarantee safety: a win on Saturday would move them up to 32 points with a further 15 available.
Tottenham Hotspur 2, Aston Villa 1
Spurs have won all of their last five meetings against Aston Villa, scoring at least twice in each game. Conversely, the Villains have scored just six goals in their last 12 games against the North Londoners, never netting more than once in a single fixture. Despite Spurs coming to the end of an arduous and lengthy season, with arguably less to play for than Villa, we see no reason in either team’s form to suggest Saturday’s result will be any different.