Tottenham vs Aston Villa – Pre-game Assessment

When the manager of Tottenham Hotspur, Nuno Espirito Santo says there are “so many problems that we have to solve”, a visiting team has to believe that there are points to be taken.  With Dean Smith’s squad having just beaten Manchester United at Old Trafford, 1-0, and Villa’s last visit saw them coming from behind to nip Spurs 2-1 in May, there could be the danger of over-confidence!  Just kidding.  Against Harry Kane, Heung-min Son, Hugo Lloris, and a vocal crowd of 62,500 fans in the largest club stadium in London, our Villans will be as psyched-up as necessary this Sunday.

Nuno is crying wolf to some degree and redirecting the wrath of the crowd where it belongs, at Daniel Levy, the Chairman.  It is Levy who has created almost annual crises at one of the Premier League’s top clubs by, apparently, being more interested in the team’s bottom line than team cohesion.  When Spurs star, Harry Kane, indicated that he wanted to be at a club that could win silverware, Levy’s priority was to make the maximum amount from his sale to Manchester City who had just spent £100 million for Jack Grealish. Levy thought that meant that Kane was worth £150 million.  Manchester City didn’t agree, and Spurs are stuck with an unhappy striker.

Meanwhile, our Villans are over the moon from beating the Red Devils in a game that, not even an injury time penalty call, could ruin.  Still, what our Villans have to remember is that, with all the stars aligned, no result is guaranteed.

Fortunately, Dean Smith is sane and stoic and will make sure the squad are prepared to deal with whatever distraction gets in their way.  Do not be surprised if the manager puts out the same line-up as played in Manchester.  The only change from the previous week was Hause for Tuanzebe and Kortney will likely keep his spot.  It’s hard to justify dropping a game-winner!

Having Tuanzebe on the bench is a great asset to the outstanding back three formation that the team now features.  The play of McGinn, Luiz, and Ramsey in out-hustling Man U’s midfield was also exemplary.  As for the front duo of Watkins and Ings with Buendia, Traore, and Archer ready to be a game-changer if necessary, has to be very reassuring to the boss.

It seems reckless to call for our Villans to win two in a row against Man U and Spurs, but I just did it – 2-1 this time.

Tottenham Hotspur likely starting XI

Lloris, Tanganga, Sanchez, Dier, Reguilón, Alli, Hojbjerg, Ndombele, Lucas, Kane, Son

Aston Villa likely starting XI

Martinez; Mings, Hause, Konsa; Cash, Luiz, McGinn, Ramsey, Targett, Ings, Watkins.

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