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Spurs Odyssey Preview - Spurs v Aston Villa, 01.01.23

Last season's game - Spurs 2 Aston Villa 1, 03.10.21
Premier League Matchday 17 - last year
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          27 14  7  6   44 -28  49
Away          27 10  8  9   36 -29  38
Total(Prem)   54 24 15 15   80 -57  87  1.61 Pts per game
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)   54 24 15 15   80 -57  87 
Total(Div 1)  94 42 17 35  171-152 110
Total(Div 2)   4  1  2  1    5 - 6   4
Grand Total  152 67 34 51  256-215 201

Last Six Premier League results:-

Spurs      -    LLWLWD
Man Utd    2-0    Spurs
Spurs      1-2    Newcastle
B'mouth    2-3    Spurs
Spurs      1-2    Liverpool
Spurs      4-3    Leeds
Brentford  2-2    Spurs

A. Villa   -    LWLWWL

Fulham     3-0    A. Villa
A. Villa   4-0    Brentford
Newcastle  4-0    A. Villa
A. Villa   3-1    Man Utd
Brighton   1-2    A. Villa
A. Villa   1-3    Liverpool

Pos            P  W  D  L   F-A   GD  Pts
 4. Spurs     16  9  3  4  33-23  10   30
12. A. Villa  16  5  3  8  17-25  -8   18 

The "Villans" are coming to town!

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Aston Villa (aka "The Villans") are coming to town and arguably the biggest one among them is goalkeeper and World Cup winner Emilio Martinez, who is the first World Cup Finalist (and winner) to be playing for Villa. Martinez formerly played for Arsenal, which makes him bad enough in the eyes of many Spurs fans, but Argentinaís penalty shoot-out hero did not enhance his reputation with what looked like an obscene gesture when he received his Golden Glove award in front of the Qatari dignitary making the presentation. Martinez said his gesture was aimed at the French, but Argentina already had form for being ungracious when Otamendi gestured towards the defeated Netherlands side after a quarter-final shoot-out. Another Villa keeper Ė Mark Bosnich Ė came to mind when he made a Nazi salute towards Spurs fans in 1996 and was booked. Spurs won that game (in October '96) 1-0, and we will not find it easy to win on Sunday.

Weíve got our own World Cup winner, of course. Cristian Romero is back in the UK, and has been training. Antonio Conte says he is available. I am sure "Cuti" will play but Rodrigo Bentancur who was suspended (and also injured) on Boxing Day is still out. Richarlison is still unavailable.

Villa had 4 players involved in the World Cup. The three in addition to Martinez were Leander Dendoncker (Belgium), Jan Bednarek, and Matty Cash (both Poland). Belgium didnít make it out of the group phase and Poland were beaten 3-1 by France in the Round of 16.

The world is mourning the passing of Pele this week. To my generation he was THE icon of football. On and off the pitch he was a gentleman, and in retirement he was an ambassador for the game.

Villa's Matty Cash was the player whose tackle ended Matt Doherty's season in our away fixture last season. Steve Gerrard said in his programme notes for our 4-0 away win that his team needed to turn 45 minute performances into 90 minute performances! Cash, who Villa signed early in the 20/21 season from Nottingham Forest had been awarded a fresh contract in the week leading up to our game, taking him to the summer of 2025. Although born in Slough, Cash took on Polish nationality for International football and made his debut in November 2021. Cash's grandfather was Polish. Reportedly, Cash had never set foot in the country before playing for Poland. He played in all four of Poland's games.

Steve Gerrard announced pre-season that John McGinn would replace Tyrone Mings as club captain. The purpose was to enable Mings to focus more upon his own game. Of course, Gerrard has gone now, losing his job after the 3-0 defeat to Fulham. Unai Emery (also once at Arsenal, but most recently Villarreal) was subsequently appointed but first team coach Aaron Danks took charge for Villaís next game which was a 4-0 home win against Brentford. Three of the goals were scored inside 14 minutes. Villaís form has improved with three wins and three losses in their last six games, but it remains up and down, as evidenced by a home league win over Manchester United, who gained revenge with a 4-2 League Cup Third Round win in November. Villa lost at home to Liverpool on Boxing Day, but they had their moments and Spurs will have to play better than they did at Brentford to ensure a much-needed home win.

We didnít win last seasonís home game too easily, relying upon a Matt Targett own goal from Sonís cross to seal our win. Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg scored our first goal but has already doubled last season's Premier League tally with four so far, including our equaliser at Brentford.

Villa's Carney Chukwuemeka and Aaron Ramsey scored the extra time goals which sealed England's U-19 team the European Under-19 Championship on 1st July 2022. Spurs' Alfie Devine and Dane Scarlett played a prominent role for England in the tournament. Devine, who was only 18 this August, scored in a 2-0 group game win over Austria, whilst Scarlett (also still just 18) scored twice in a 4-0 win over Serbia. Both Devine and Scarlett scored goals in England's qualifying games too.

Two days before the start of the season, Chelsea were able to confirm the £20 million signing of the 18-year-old midfielder Carney Chukwuemeka. Ramsey went on loan to Norwich.

Following last season's 4-0 away win, Spurs reached 201 league points against Villa, including 87 Premier League points in 54 games. We also reached double figures with this win (in terms of away wins) and have won seven of our last 8 league games against "The Villans". Finally, we have won 8 successive away games in league and cup games including three 4-0 wins!

Just over a week after our away game, Villa celebrated the 125th anniversary of their official move to the stadium on 17th April, 1897. (The team had played on the site before the stadium was built.) Previous venues had been Wilson Road and Aston Park. Villa Park has hosted more FA Cup semi-finals than any other venue, and also hosted the very last UEFA Cup-Winnersí Cup final in 1999, when Lazio beat Mallorca. This was the cup Spurs famously won in 1963 to become the first British team to win a European trophy. Even now it is all-seated accommodation, The Holte End holds up to 13,000 spectators which compares very well with Spurs' 17,000 seat South Stand.

Aston Villa have recently been granted planning permission for the redevelopment and expansion of their stadium. The project, given the all-clear by Birmingham City Council, will see Villa Parkís capacity rise to 50,000 from its current limit of 42,000 with a brand new North Stand. Villa Park is on the shortlist for the UK and Irelandís bid to host the 2028 European Championship.

2022 saw the fortieth anniversary of Villa's famous 1982 European Cup win in Feyenoord's Rotterdam stadium when they beat Bayern Munich 1-0 thanks to a 66th minute Peter Withe goal. Last summer I watched the BT Sport film which covered the 1981 Championship win and "The Villans'" European Cup run. I was reminded of Ron Saunders' February 1982 resignation (he subsequently signed for Birmingham!), the appointment of the relatively unknown Tony Barton and the early replacement of goalkeeper Jimmy Rimmer by Nigel Spink, who made several crucial saves. We had played an ill-fated UEFA Cup Final second leg defeat in that Feyenoord Stadium in 1974.

Spurs played Villa in the 1981 Charity Shield game which was drawn 2-2. Withe scored both Villa goals, and Mark Falco scored either side of half-time in front of 92,500 fans at Wembley.

Villa were a Third Division side when they were our victims in the 1971 League Cup Final. The game was played in front of a Wembley full house and the result was 2-0 with both goals scored by Martin Chivers. In the Villa side that day was Andy Lochhead, better known as a Burnley stalwart of the 1960s. Lochhead made 45 league appearances in Villa's 1971/72 promotion season the following year, which was their last season in the third tier. Incidentally, their last game was a 1-0 victory over my present home town side - Chesterfield! Lochhead died on 18th March 2022, only 9 days after his 81st birthday.

Hugo Lloris's first Premier League clean sheet was on his Premier League debut against Aston Villa in October 2012. That was only Hugo's third Spurs game having kept a Europa League clean sheet against Lazio in his first game for the club. When we beat Villa 4-0 at Villa Park in March last year it was Hugo's 116th Premier League clean sheet. His total now stands at 124.

Ever the optimist, I am predicting a 3-1 home win. Sundayís game kicks off at 2pm and is being televised live on SKY here in the UK.

This will be referee John Brooks' second game in charge of Spurs, having previously taken charge of our FA Cup game against Morecambe in January last year. He has been in the middle for seven previous Premier League games this season.

I wish all readers a very happy and healthy New Year. Hereís to 2023!

Did you know? - When Aston Villa hosted Spurs on a Monday night (20th August, 1962) they had the highest attendance for a home game against Spurs. The crowd of 64,751 was Villa's last 60,000+ home attendance.

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