Aston Villa went from hero to zero in just a couple of days after their 3-1 triumph at Anfield was followed by the 8-0 loss at Stamford Bridge, so the hosts will definitely have something to prove in this match. Tottenham need to make amends for the goalless draw against Stoke and they are, therefore, searching for fifth away win of the season.
Jury still out
Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert took a huge gamble by starting his first season at Villa Park with a very young and inexperienced squad, with most of the new signings coming from lower division sides. Even so, the Villans managed to record several thoroughly impressive victories, beating Sunderland, Norwich and Liverpool away, but they have had their share of heavy defeats as well. This suggests that inconsistency is the main problem at the moment, which is hardly surprising for a team that boast just a couple of experienced players. Villa’s poor home record in the Premier League, 3 wins in last 21 fixtures at Villa Park, is another cause for concern before the clash with genuine top 4 side. Given that two very important players are rated doubtful for this match, Aston Villa will have their work cut out for them in an attempt to make amends for the embarrassing defeat at Stamford Bridge.
Ron Vlaar, Gabriel Agbonlahor and Charles N’Zogbia all face fitness tests, while Richard Dunne, Gary Gardner and Darren Bent are definitely out.
Gareth Bale and Scott Parker are back
Despite the decent strength in depth, Tottenham are a different team when Andre Villas-Boas can field his strongest starting 11, and that is the main reason why Spurs have struggled when the likes of Moussa Dembele, Gareth Bale, Benoit Assau-Ekotto and Scott Parker were on the sidelines. The White Hart Lane outfit were pretty unfortunate not to turn their dominance into goals against Everton and Stoke, but they still managed to remain in contention for a top 4 place. Now that Gareth Bale and Scott Parker have finally returned into action, Spurs can be trusted to return to winning ways and with four matches against relegation strugglers next, they have a great chance to create an advantage over their top 4 rivals. Having won 4 of 8 away fixtures this season, Tottenham look a good bet to see off out-of-sorts Aston Villa.
Scott Parker should be handed his first start after a lengthy spell on the sidelines, but Clint Dempsey and Benoit Assou-Ekotto are both doubtful.
All Aston Villa’s weaknesses were on display in the 8-0 defeat to Chelsea and the players will clearly need some time to recover from such a big loss. Tottenham, on the other hand, have shown a considerable improvement on the travels, and with Bale and Parker back to the side, they have more than enough quality to win this match.
Top pick: Away win 2.10 (11/10) @ Paddy Power
Alternative pick 1: Over 2.5 goals 1.91 (10/11) @ 188BET
Alternative pick 2: Tottenham to score two or more 1.80 (4/5) @ Ladbrokes