Paul Lambert’s side host a Tottenham Hotspur team that haven’t lost against Aston Villa in their last nine league meetings (W6, D3). But, Lambert will hope Spurs’ devastating home defeat to West Ham United can help Villa pile the pressure on.
The last meeting at Villa Park ended up with Tottenham Hotspur running away 4-0 victors, with new Real Madrid player Gareth Bale netting his first hat-trick for Tottenham. This time Villas-Boas’ side will have to make do without their mercurial Welshman, although they do have enough quality in their ranks to extend their unbeaten run over the Villains.
Christian Benteke will make his return to the Aston Villa squad, but it is yet to be known whether Paul Lambert will risk him starting against Tottenham Hotpsur. Jores Okore, Charles N’Zogbia and Gary Gardner remain on the injury list.
Andre Villas-Boas has ruled out Danny Rose and Etienne Capoue. Spurs may welcome back Aaron Lennon, Younes Kaboul and Emmanuel Adebayor back to their squad to travel to Villa Park.
Paul Lambert has won more away league games (7) as manager of Aston Villa than he has at Villa Park (6). [via Stats Zone]
Aston Villa have not kept a clean sheet in any of their last 14 Premier League home games.
Tottenham Hotspur have just a 6% chance conversion so far this season.
Andros Townsend has attempted 26 shots, a Premier League high, without finding the net. [via Stats Zone]
Gabby Agbonlahor vs Andros Townsend
Let the battle of the English wingers commence!
Both wingers have had an electric start to the 13/14 Premier League campaign.
Gabby Agbonlahor has recorded two assists, while Andros Townsend has recorded the most dribbles so far this season (48), with (33) successful. Agbonlahor, on the other hand, has recorded (20) dribbles, successfully completing (10).
Agbonlahor has completed (5) crosses, of which (2) were successful, with a 40% crossing accuracy – while Townsend has hit a total of (26) crosses, with just (4) reaching his target; an accuracy of 15%.
Both wingers are renowned for their pace and taking on their man, identified above in their amount of dribbles and crossing, more so in Townsend’s case.
Gabby Agbonlahor has created a total of (10) chances from open play, creating (2) goals for his team – the 27-year old is creating a chance every 41 minutes.
Andros Townsend has created a total of (7) chances from open play without grabbing an assist for his side, but the young England international is creating a chance every 51 minutes.
On the passing side of the two wingers’ games, Agbonlahor has played (120) passes, of which (92) have been accurate – a 77% pass completion rate.
Townsend has played a total of (192) passes, of which (167) have found his target – a 87% pass completion rate.
Both players are trying to work on the defensive aspect of their game. Townsend has won 65% of his total ground 50/50s, with Agbonlahor winning 41% of his total ground 50/50s. They have both recorded a total of (7) tackles – Agbonlahor (71.43% tackle success rate), Townsend (57.14% tackle success rate.)
Agbonlahor, at the age of 27, is a Premier League veteran in his own right, having made 259 appearances for Villa in the league, recording 63 goals – Villa’s all-time leading Premier League scorer.
Townsend is only just starting to make his mark on the Tottenham Hotspur side, let alone the Premier League; but so far, so good.
Predicted Line Up, Scoreline and Odds
Tottenham Hotspur should have enough to secure all 3 points against Villa this Sunday, but will need to be wary of Villa’s counter attacking threat; Sandro will need to be brought in to combat this threat.
Libor Kozak may have to make way for Christian Benteke if Villa need to bring their talismanic striker in, but the return of Agbonlahor and Weimann will be perfect for the counter.
While Erik Lamela needs game time to settle in England, I think Villas-Boas will pick Gylfi Sigurdsson ahead of the Argentinian, with the Iceland international to continue his goalscoring form so far this season.
Prediction: Villa 0-2 Tottenham Hotspur
Tottenham Hotspur to win 2-0 is available at 9/1, while the Spurs win is available at 21/20. Gylfi Sigurdsson to score first is available at 8/1.
Odds via William Hill