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Villa v Spurs Head to Head

Posted on 10 November 2000  - 12:00

Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) Football Club is located in North London. The club is also known as Spurs. Tottenham's home ground is White Hart Lane. The club motto is Audere est Facere (To dare is to do).

MERSON ANDERTON
APPEARANCES
Minutes on pitch 990 708
GOAL ATTEMPTS
Goals 3 1
Shots on Target 6 5
Shooting Accuracy 43% 31%
PASSING
Goal Assists 2 2
Passing Accuracy 75% 68%
Crossing Accuracy 27% 30%
DRIBBLING
Dribbles & Runs 60 15
Dribble Completion 77% 93%
DISCIPLINE
Yellow Cards 1 3
Red Cards 0 0
First Goalscorer Odds 8/1 12/1
Secure, tax-free online betting with SpursBET
Paul Merson
Darren Anderton

This match would originally have been billed as the 'David Ginola Show' had the former Tottenham winger been either fully fit, or even on form. Fortunately for the Aston Villa faithful, they have been far too busy being entertained by Paul Merson to concern themselves with the Frenchman's minimal contribution so far.

For Merson, the future looks bright. The former Gunner has been a revelation this term and such consistency recently won him a 12-month contract extension. He has even confessed a renewed interest in the England set up, a scene he was quick to dismiss last season.

Darren Anderton is another England hopeful, who has surprisingly remained fit for much of the campaign, while his team-mates appear to be falling around him. If he manages a couple more outings he may even rid himself of the 'sicknote' tag to which he has become accustomed.

The slightly built Lilywhite has proved deadly with the ball at his feet this season and has embarked upon 15 dribbles and runs and maintained possession 93% of the time - although manager George Graham would surely like to see Anderton perform such skill with a little more regularity.

Merson may have played nearly five hours more top-flight football than his Spurs counterpart this term, but he has utilised this time to its fullest. He has found his stride at every given opportunity and has made four times as many forays forward than Anderton, and attempted twice as many crosses.

In fairness, the former Portsmouth man has not been afraid to try his luck at goal and has fired in 16 shots, but only five have found the target. He has not scored since the opening day of the season when Spurs beat Ipswich 3-1 and he is quoted at 10/3 to score at Villa Park on Saturday.

However, John Gregory will be hoping for another inspirational performance from his number 10, after Merson grabbed match-winning goals in the previous two outings against Charlton and Everton. His season tally now stands at three, even though he has attempted two fewer shots than Anderton.

It is this opportunism and skill that has put Merson back in the spotlight and launched Villa up to fifth in the Premiership. Expect him to play a pivotal role once more against Tottenham. When Anderton begins to perform with consistent inventiveness, he too might get the renewed contract that he is searching for.

Mark Willis