OPTA PREVIEW: Aston Villa v Tottenham Hotspur
After grabbing a vital point at home to Arsenal last weekend, Spurs now head to the midlands looking to disrupt Aston Villa’s attempts to qualify for next seasons Champions League.
Tottenham won at Villa Park last season but overall they have a poor record when they have travelled to Aston Villa in the Premiership. The 1-0 win last season was Tottenham’s only Premiership success away at Villa while the Midlanders have won six and drawn four of their 11 home games against Spurs.
While they may have struggled at Villa Park, Tottenham have an even worse record when they come up against former Arsenal man David O’Leary. As a manager, the Irishman has never lost a home game against Spurs and he will be eager to continue this record on Sunday with Champions League football being within touching distance.
This is a far cry from when the teams met earlier in the season as Villa were in the bottom three as they visited White Hart Lane back in November. Victory for Spurs that day left things looking bleak for the Villans. However, there has been a revival in 2004 with only Chelsea and Arsenal having picked up more points since the turn of the year than Villa.
Villa have hit 27 goals since the turn of the year compared to just 19 that they managed during the first half of the season. Only Arsenal have scored more than this in 2004 although Spurs are not far behind Villa with 25 goals since new year.
Tottenham have however now gone seven games without a win in the Premiership, their longest winless run of the season. Just four goals have been scored in that time, while there have only been two clean sheets kept in 2004.
They will be thankful that Dion Dublin is currently out of favour at Villa Park as the former Coventry and Manchester United striker has a good record against Spurs. The big hitman has scored nine times against Tottenham in the Premiership — more than he has managed against any other opponent. However, Dublin has been restricted to appearances from the bench in recent weeks.
Villa have failed to win any of their last six meetings with Spurs in the Premiership and if Tottenham can do the double over them for a second consecutive season, then it will open the door for Newcastle or Liverpool to clinch the final Champions League place on offer.
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|Aston Villa||Tottenham Hotspur|
|Shooting accuracy %||43%||44%|
|Pass completion %||66%||73%|
|Cross completion %||25%||21%|
|Tackles won %||70%||70%|