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Match Preview: Villa first

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).

It is still some way away, but Aston Villa provide our first competitive opposition of the new campagin when they travel to the Lane on Saturday August 18.

Like ourselves, Villa have been fairly active in the transfer market but, in recent times, there has been more speculation over wantaway players than incoming prospects.

Gareth Southgate still falls into the former category, and the current topic of debate is whether the England defender will play in the Inter Toto Cup for Villa, which in turn would rule him out of European competition for any possible future employers.

Villa spent big during the course of last term on the Colombian Juan Pablo Angel. He did not get off to the most productive of starts, but Villa must have seen enough to impress them as a bid from Paris Saint Germain for the striker has been turned down flat.

Villa have gone down the Moroccan road in their summer transfer dealings so far. So arrived from Southampton on a free and he has been joined by his countryman Mustafa Hadji, the gifted playmaker has joined from Coventry in a deal that saw Julian Joachim go the other way.

Rumours of discontent continue to surround goalkeeper David James and David Ginola, and it remains to be seen whether they trot out at the Lane on day 1.

In the meantime, Spurs' thoughts will be on a testing pre-season programme which begins at Stevenage on Friday July 13.

The current schedule has two matches pencilled in for August 8 and August 11, opponents yet to be announced, before the start of the Premiership season on August 18.

Here is the pre-season friendly schedule so far (all matches away):
Friday July 13: Stevenage Borough (7.45pm).
Tuesday July 17: Swindon Town (7.45pm).
Thursday July 19: Leyton Orient (7.45pm).
Saturday July 21: Wycombe Wanderers (3pm).
Wednesday July 25: Portsmouth (7.45pm).
Wednesday August 1: Reading (7.45pm).
Saturday August 4: Millwall (3pm).
Tuesday August 7: Luton Town (7.45pm).
Wednesday August 8: Match TBA.
Saturday August 11: Match TBA.