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Spurs Odyssey Premier League Preview - Spurs v Aston Villa, 10.08.19

This week - last year
What happened in the Premier League on Matchday 1 2018-19

See the current injury list for all Premier League Teams
All the Spurs Stats you could hope for here! THFC6061 Sports Stats

Full Record of Spurs -v- Aston Villa

Prem          Pl  W  D  L   For-Ag  Pts
Home          24 12  7  5   38 -24  43
Away          24  7  8  9   27 -27  29
Total(Prem)   48 19 15 14   65 -51  72
Football Lge
Home (Div 1)  47 25  6 16   99 -77  62
Away (Div 1)  47 17 11 19   72 -75  48
Total(Div 1)  94 42 17 35  171 -152 110 
Football Lge
Home (Div 2)   2  1  1  0    4 - 3   3
Away (Div 2)   2  0  1  1    1 - 3   1
Total(Div 2)   4  1  2  1    5 - 6   4
Total(Prem)   48 19 15 14   65 -51  72
Total(Div 1)  94 42 17 35  171-152 110
Total(Div 2)   4  1  2  1    5 - 6   4
Grand Total  146 62 34 50  241-207 186

Last Six League results:-

Spurs      -    WLWLLD
Spurs      4-0    Hds'field
Man City   1-0    Spurs
Spurs      1-0    Brighton
Spurs      0-1    West Ham
B'mouth    1-0    Spurs
Spurs      2-2    Everton

A. Villa   -    WDLWLW
(Championship and play-Off games)

A. Villa   1-0    Millwall
Leeds      1-1    A. Villa
A. Villa   1-2    Norwich
A. Villa   2-1    West Brom
West Brom  1-0    A. Villa
A. Villa   2-1    Derby

Final Positions 2018-19
Pos           P  W  D  L   F-A   GD  Pts
4. Spurs     38 23  2 13  67-39  28   71
5  A. Villa  46 20 16 10  82-61  21   76 (Championship)

At last! A home game to start the season!

Welcome to our first full season in our new home! Incredibly this will be the first time in 9 years that we start the season with a home game in the Premier League. We have started away from home in 21 of the 27 Premier League seasons so far! We should have started at home against Everton in 2011, but that game was postponed due to the riots, which had an influence upon Spurs' planning application for our posh stadium with the prospect of regeneration for the local area.

The opening game in 2010 pitted us against Manchester City, who we had beaten in the previous May to win our place at the Champions League table. Now we welcome back one of the three promoted sides from last season's Championship, each of whom have previously been in the Premier League.

Congratulations must go to Aston Villa on winning their way back to the Premier League through their 2-1 Play-Off Final victory over perpetual play-off bridesmaids Derby at Wembley in May! Villa were of course founding members of the Premier League, and until their relegation three seasons ago had been one of seven ever-present Premier League teams.

Villa were also one of the founding members of the Football League when it was created in 1888; double winners in 1896-97, and winners of the European Cup (at their first attempt in the competition) in 1982. This club, and their ground which regularly hosted FA Cup semi-finals until the new Wembley Stadium became the only venue for that event, has earned its place in the history of football in England.

Aston Villa were runners-up (to Manchester United) in the first Premier League season. Managed by "Big Ron" Atkinson, and with goals by the likes of Dean Saunders, Dalian Atkinson, Garry Parker and Dwight Yorke, Villa almost hit the heights in that first season, but never quite matched that level afterwards. They won two League Cups (in 1994 and 1996) and even got to the FA Cup Final with Tim Sherwood at the helm in 2015, but they lost badly to Arsenal.

In the 21st Century, the "Villans" managed a 6th place with David O'Leary in charge, and did that three years running with Martin O'Neill at the helm, but after he left, Villa's decline was rapid.

Now with new owners and a manager Dean Smith who was born locally (West Bromwich) and was a boyhood fan of Aston Villa, the club is hopeful for its future. Villa finished fifth in the Championship table, seven points behind Leeds and four behind West Brom, but that's the way the Play-Offs work, and personally I am happy to see Villa rather than Leeds in the Premier League.

Villa have signed almost a whole new team in the summer, and have spent more than Fulham did last year. Fulham spent 100 million and failed to stay in the Premier League. Villa have spent over 120, including 8 million for 33 year old Burnley & England goalkeeper Tom Heaton; central defenders Kortney Hause (Wolves), and Tyrone Mings (20 million from Bournemouth). Both of these were on loan at Villa last season and played in the Play-Off final when Hause replaced Mings. They've paid Brentford 12 million for another centre-back Ezri Konsa, and also signed left back Matt Targett from Southampton.

Other signings include midfielders Jota from Birmingham, El Ghazi from Lille (also a loanee last season), Egyptian attacking midfielder Trezeguet from Turkey and Douglas Luiz from Man City. 22 year old Brazilian forward Wesley was signed from Club Brugge. How many of Villa's new signings make the starting line-up tomorrow remains to be seen, but I expect to see Tom Heaton in goal, Mings at centre-back, local icon Jack Grealish (now 23) and the influential John McGinn and Conor Hourihane in midfield.

Villa will have a core of several players who took them back to thee top flight, and I expect their spending to be more beneficial than that of Fulham. How quickly the new boys settle in remains to be seen.

Spurs have new boys too, with Giovani Lo Celso and Ryan Sessegnon signed on deadline day. I don't expect to see either of them start (Sessegnon is still recovering from a hamstring injury), but Tanguy Ndombele had a full pre-season with Spurs and will surely start his first Premier League game. I've seen no team news yet, but we know that Son and Foyth are suspended. Foyth is injured too, as is Dele Alli. I'd guess at a 4-3-3 tomorrow with Lloris; Walker-Peters, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Rose; Sissoko, Winks, Ndombele; Lamela, Kane and Lucas Moura with perhaps a place for the apparently unsettled Eriksen instead of Lamela.

It wasn't always this way, but Spurs have enjoyed domination over Villa in recent years. In League meetings we won 10 of the last 12 matches, only losing one game - and that was at White Hart Lane in April 2015 when Sherwood was in charge of the visiting side. Earlier this year, Mauricio Pochettino spoke of how he thought the away game that season might have been his last in charge of Spurs, who were staring down the barrel of a 1-0 defeat until Nacer Chadli and Harry Kane stepped up to the plate with late goals. Kane's goal was a 90th minute free kick and was his first Premier League goal of the season - on November 2nd. Harry never looked back after that and hit his first 20 goal haul in that 2014-15 season. I confess that I wrote bad things about Mauricio the following week, when we lost at home to Stoke, but look where we are now!

Spurs' first and last meetings against Aston Villa were both FA Cup games. In March 1903, we lost a third round game 3-2 at home. In January 2017, we beat Steve Bruce's Championship side 2-0 with goals by Ben Davies and Son Heung-min. The Spurs side included Cameron Carter-Vickers, Kevin Wimmer, Vincent Janssen and Josh Onomah was a substitute for Moussa Sissoko. Onomah spent the following season on loan with Villa, and last season with Sheffield Wednesday. Now he has gone to Fulham as part of the Sessegnon move. Cameron Carter-Vickers is still a Spurs player, but will be on loan at Stoke this season. Kevin Wimmer remains on Stoke's books as I write, but spent much of last season on loan at Hannover. Janssen has gone to Mexico, and I wish him luck.

Spurs' best results against Villa have been by four goal margins and in 1958 and 1960 we had two 6-2 wins. Bobby Smith scored four and Terry Medwin the other two in March 1958, whilst in September 1960, our Double side (to be) scored 6 through John White (2), Bobby Smith, Terry Dyson, Les Allen, and Dave Mackay. Cliff Jones - now a sprightly 84 - played in both those games. In recent years we won two consecutive away games 4-0. The first was a league game on Boxing Day 2012 when Gareth Bale scored a hat-trick. The second was a League Cup win the following September. Incidentally, goalkeeper Jed Steer played only his second game for Villa in that game. Steer was Villa's first choice keeper for the second half of last season.

My prediction for tomorrow's game (5.30pm on Sky) is a 2-0 win for Spurs. I am looking forward to a sharp season from Harry Kane too!

Tomorrow's match referee will be Chris Kavanagh, and of course we will now have VAR at every game. Tomorrow's man at Stockley Park watching the screens will be Stuart Attwell.

Happy new season everybody!

"It was Twenty Years Ago Today!" - Spurs beat Newcastle 3-1 on 9th August, 1999.

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