Aston Villa and Tottenham return from their winter break this weekend, although Spurs were only able to enjoy 11 days of rest thanks to their FA Cup replay against Southampton. That could help hosts Villa as Dean Smith plots to keep his team out of the relegation zone.
Where and when: Villa Park – 16 February, kick-off 14:00
Where you can see Aston Villa vs. Tottenham: Sky Sports
Last time: John McGinn gave Villa an early lead at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on the opening day of the season, but Spurs mounted a late comeback to secure a 3-1 victory.
Aston Villa v Tottenham Predictions and Preview
There’s a lot riding on Sunday’s clash in the Midlands, with Aston Villa and Tottenham scrapping at opposite ends of the Premier League table. Only 12 points actually separates the clubs, but that’s enough to see Villa a point away from the drop zone, and Spurs competing for the top four.
Villa boss Smith will hope the winter break breathes fresh life into his squad, with the Villans only managing one win in their last four Premier League fixtures. They did beat Leicester City to secure a place in the League Cup final during that time however, while the 2-1 victory over relegation rivals Watford in their last home game was crucial.
Tottenham meanwhile look as though they’ve turned a corner under Jose Mourinho, with the Portuguese guiding his team to a six-match unbeaten run which includes four wins and two draws away to a couple of in-form sides, Southampton and Watford. The former of those forced that troublesome FA Cup replay, of course, depriving the north London outfit of three days’ rest.
|Our Eurotips||Odds||Free bets||Bookie|
Tottenham to win and BTTS
Villa to win 2-1 and Grealish to score first
Dele Alli to score first
Spurs can move into fifth with a win here, while there’s a four-point gap to fourth-placed Chelsea, who entertain Manchester United on Monday. This could be a pivotal weekend in the race for the Champions League places, although Villa are looking to put some daylight between themselves and the bottom three.
The hosts will have to try and do that without their goalscorer against Spurs earlier this season, although McGinn could return to full training early next month. Tom Heaton and Wesley are both out for the season though, while Keinan Davis and Jed Steer are set to miss this game. On the other hand, Danny Drinkwater and Ezri Konsa are expected to be fit.
Harry Kane scored Tottenham’s last two goals when these teams met on the opening weekend of the season and has six goals in his last six games against Villa, but the England captain continues his spell on the sidelines following surgery on his hamstring injury. Moussa Sissoko is also out, but Giovani Lo Celso, Erik Lamela and Ben Davies could all be in contention.
The visitors come into this game unbeaten on their last nine visits to Villa Park, winning seven. They are the odds-on favourites with some of the best football betting sites, priced at 10/11. Aston Villa could be tempting for the upset at 16/5, considering their extra rest and home advantage, while the draw is available at 14/5.
One to watch for Aston Villa: Jack Grealish has been heavily linked with a move to Manchester United over the winter break. The Villa captain is 10/1 to add to his ever-growing reputation by notching the opening goal on Sunday.
One to watch for Tottenham: Dele Alli hit the headlines for the wrong reasons once again during his time off. The Englishman usually responds to controversy in a positive manner on the pitch though, and is 6/1 to break the deadlock.
Long shot: Villa’s last home win against Tottenham came courtesy of a 2-1 victory back in January 2008. The hosts are 14/1 to win by the same scoreline this weekend, rising to 60/1 with Grealish as the first scorer.