Aston Villa play host to Tottenham Hotspur chasing a top four finish in the Premier League in a fixture that was scheduled to be played in January.
Spurs travel to Villa Park on Sunday after a tiresome 120 minutes of European football in midweek, which could work to the advantage of a well-rested Aston Villa unit.
The North London outfit were humiliated by Dinamo Zagreb as they crashed out of the Europa League on Thursday night, losing 3-0 away from home after having a two goal advantage.
However there is no time for Jose Mourinho’s side to dwell on their recent poor form as the race for the Champions League places is heating up.
Dean Smith’s team collected a couple of points from their last two encounters, drawing against Wolverhampton Wanderers and Newcastle United.
After experiencing 11 losses in their last 12 outings against Tottenham, there probably couldn’t be a better time to hurt the North Londoners.
Last time out
Here’s what happened last time the two sides met…
Head to Head
Aston Villa and Spurs share a long history, with a total of 166 games played between the two teams with the Londoners having won 76 of those matches, compared to the Villans 56.
The home side will have a job on their hands being without some of their most creative players. However, Spurs’ run away from home has been terrible, losing four out of the last five Premier League fixtures.
The home side may be without their captain yet again as Villa playmaker Jack Grealish faces a fitness race against time for Sunday’s game.
Grealish has been out for nearly five weeks with a shin injury, which has seen him miss out on a place in Gareth Southgate’s latest England squad. The captain is not the only player missing with Kortney Hause continuing to struggle with a foot problem.
Some positive news for Villa fans as Wesley has finally returned to training after a year out due to a knee injury.
Jose Mourinho’s side will most likely be without one of their star players in Heung-min Son. The winger is still suffering from an injury picked up in the North London derby and is expected to remain on the side-lines for a while.
Mourinho is likely to make several changes to his side with a number of them, including Harry Kane, playing 120 minutes in their Europa League defeat to Dinamo Zagreb on Thursday.
The stats don’t lie
- In all competitions, Aston Villa have lost 11 of their last 12 matches against Tottenham Hotspur, winning the other in April 2015 under Tim Sherwood.
- Since a 1-2 defeat at Villa Park on New Year’s Day 2008, Spurs are unbeaten in nine away Premier League games against Aston Villa (W7 D2), winning the last five in a row.
- Aston Villa have only lost six consecutive home Premier League matches against an opponent on two previous occasions – versus Manchester United (2003-2007) and Liverpool (2011-2019).
- Tottenham have lost nine of their 28 Premier League games so far this season – manager José Mourinho has never suffered as many as 10 defeats in a single league campaign in his career.
Speaking at the beginning of the year, Mourinho said that Aston Villa was his favourite team to watch in the Premier League.
Dean Smith was overwhelmed with the comment from the Spurs boss, he said: “I hold him in great esteem in the certainly in the management and coaching career he has had and will continue to have, he’s definitely one to learn from. It was great to be praised by him and were looking forward to the challenge on Sunday.”
Aston Villa possible XI: Martinez; Cash, Konsa, Mings, Targett; Luiz, Nakamba; Traore, McGinn, Trezeguet; Watkins
Tottenham Hotspur possible XI: Lloris; Doherty, Sanchez, Alderweireld, Reguilon; Hojbjerg, Ndombele; Bale, Lucas, Bergwijn; Vinicius
The game kicks off at 4.30pm on Sunday afternoon as part of Sky Sports Super Sunday.