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Villama Preview: Aston Villa v Tottenham Hotspur

Following a disappointing loss to Wolves, Steven Gerrard’s Aston Villa host Antonio Conte’s Tottenham Hotspur. As Douglas Luiz and Danny Ings look to return to starting roles, will we see a refocused Villa squad, or will Harry Kane and Son Heung-min win the day?

Things were less than ideal last week, with Aston Villa losing to Wolves 2-1, and matters are not getting any less precarious with this week’s match against Tottenham. Sitting at fourth in the table, Spurs have won their last three with an almost casual authority when you look at the scorelines; 2-0 at Brighton & Hove Albion, 3-1 at home over West Ham United, and most recently a 5-1 thumping of Newcastle United at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Harry Kane, Son Heung-Min, and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg are players to look for, but the rest of the squad are no slouches. To belabor the obvious, they’re an extremely talented team.

FLASHBACK: It was a frustrating outing for Aston Villa in this fixture last season, with Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham Hotspur walking away from Villa Park with a 2-0 victory.

With the Villa this week, as with previous weeks, my hope has been to see the return of the 4-4-2 diamond formation. Unlike previous weeks, it seems like there’s a chance of that happening on Saturday. I’m not sure it will be enough to outlast Spurs, but I do think it’s the best bet. Emi Martinez will man the goal, with Lucas Digne to his left and Matty Cash to his right, while Tyrone Mings partners with Ezri Konza at center-back. Douglas Luiz will anchor the midfield, with Jacob Ramsey and John McGinn to his left and right, while Philippe Coutinho plays the number 10 role. Ollie Watkins and Danny Ings should partner up front.

PREDICTION: This will be as difficult a match as any that Villa have had this season, albeit it should be an amazing atmosphere at Villa Park. If Villa can shake off the rust of late, there’s a chance. Spurs are currently on a three game win streak, not unimpressive but that’s also been their ceiling for consecutive wins this season. That being said, Spurs have been stomping muddles in people of late — just wholloping folks with 5-0, 4-0, and 5-1 scorelines. It’s going to be a tough one, but a hard fought 2-3 loss could be in the cards.

Aston Villa Press Conference
Can Steven Gerrard lead Aston Villa to what would only be the club’s third victory over Spurs out of the last 10 fixtures between the two sides?
Photo by Neville Williams/Aston Villa FC via Getty Images