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Spurs Odyssey Preview - Spurs v Aston Villa - 02.10.10

Last Season's Corresponding Game - Drawn 0-0
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What happened in the Premiership in Match 7 2009-10

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Full Record of Spurs -v- Aston Villa

 
Prem          Pl  W  D  L   For-Ag  Pts
Home          18  7  7  4   26 -21  28
Away          18  2  7  9   14 -24  13
======================================
Total(Prem)   36  9 14 13   40 -45  41
======================================
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)   36  9 14 13   40 -45  41
Total(Div 1)  94 42 17 35  171-152 110
Total(Div 2)   4  1  2  1    5 - 6   4
======================================
Grand Total  134 52 33 49  216-201 155
======================================

Last Six Premiership results:-

Spurs
 
Spurs      0-0   Man City
Stoke      1-2   Spurs
Spurs      0-1   Wigan
West Brom  1-1   Spurs
Spurs      3-1   Wolves
West Ham   1-0   Spurs

Aston Villa

A. Villa   3-0   West Ham
Newcastle  6-0   A. Villa
A. Villa   1-0   Everton
Stoke      2-1   A. Villa
A. Villa   1-1   Bolton
Wolves     1-2   A. Villa

Pos          P  W  D  L  F-A  GD  Pts
5  A. Villa  6  3  1  2  8-10 -2  10
8  Spurs     6  2  2  2  6- 5  1   8
Beware - Villa feel buoyant!

After a somewhat shell-shocked start of the season when Martin O'Neill apparently stomped off in a huff over lack of player investment, and a failure to keep hold of James Milner, and that mysterious 6-0 defeat at Newcastle, Villa have appointed Gerard Houllier and started to show some form, rising to fifth in the early season table.

The form guide now relates to games played this season only (last six matches) and the table begins to take shape. Let's hope that Spurs can climb back to the position we want them to be in at the end of this campaign with a win tomorrow!

Houllier has even got Emile Heskey playing well! Heskey played for Houllier at Liverpool of course, and has scored in Villa's last two games. They won at Wolves last week, and beat Blackburn 3-1 in the Carling Cup. Heskey also scored in Villa's dramatic and ultimately disappointing exit from the Europa League competition as they fell to Rapid Vienna. We had thought that this game would be affected by a European campaign for Villa, but that is not to be this year.

That 6-0 defeat was somewhat freakish, because even ardent Geordie fans accept that Villa were actually on top for much of the game. Newcastle haven't exactly replicated that goal-scoring form since - in league matches anyway. (They did win 4-3 at Chelsea in the Carling Cup).

Villa and their strong support will be feeling buoyant, and confident they can get something from this game, hoping for some more post Champions League exhaustion or lethargy from Spurs. Last season we played out two draws, and there were no goals in the home match in February. Ledley King led the team out on that day, and his presence may be key to any success for Spurs. Whatever you say about Heskey, his physical presence is always a challenge to defenders, and at the start of his career he used to give a certain former centre half of ours (now in his twilight at Newcastle) difficult matches. Heskey has after all already scored as many goals at this early stage of the season, as he did all last season in th Premier League.

The only significant incoming transfer at Villa was that of Stephen Ireland from Man City as part of the Milner deal. Such is the pace of change at Eastlands that one of last years "darlings" was outed by Mancini and allowed to leave.Ireland has yet to play in a Villa win though, having featured in the Newcastle and Rapid Vienna defeats, and then two weeks ago at Bolton in a drawn game. Villa have no major injury worries, although Agbonlahor has suffered a groin strain.

Tomorrow's game is likely to be a tight affair. There has only been one occasion in the last 19 games when there has been more than one goal in the difference. That was on 1st May, 2005, when Spurs (chasing a UEFA Cup place) ran out 5-1 winners. Spurs were 3-0 up within half an hour, thanks to goals from Fredi Kanoute (2) and Ledley King. Gareth Barry scored from the pealty spot before the interval, but Andy Reid and Stephen Kelly added to the Spurs score in the second half. Kelly's only other goal for Spurs came against Birmingham for whom he subsequently played.

Speaking of penalties, people have been asking when Spurs have ever been previously awarded three penalties in a match, following Wednesday night's Champions League win. My very good friend and ace statistician Declan Mulcahy has been unable to unearth such an occasion, but does report that against Aston Villa in March 1994, we were awarded two penalties, taken by Darren Anderton and Nicky Barmby, both of which were saved by Mark Bosnich - a man we loved to hate, especially after his Nazi salute antics in a subsequent meeting. That match in 1994 incidentally ended 1-1 and was Spurs first point of the calendar year, when we only avoided relegation by beating Oldham in our penultimae game.

Who can confidently predict any Spurs result at the moment? Tomorrow's result depends upon which Spurs turn up. We are not going to be afforded the space we had against FC Twente, and I think another tight margin will ensue. I'll take Spurs to squeeze a 2-1 win.

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