Tottenham Hotspur will look to go level on points with fourth-placed Manchester City when they travel to Villa Park to face Paul Lambert’s Aston Villa on Sunday.
Belgium international striker Christian Benteke — 7/4 to score at anytime — is doubtful to feature for the hosts, while Charles N’Zogbia and Jores Okore remain long-term absentees with achilles and knee injuries, respectively.
Benteke, who has been out since September with a hip injury, was on the bench for Belgium’s World Cup qualifier against Wales on Tuesday.
For Tottenham, England winger Aaron Lennon (foot) is fit again but remains unlikely to start, with Andros Townsend and £30 million summer signing Erik Lamela ahead of him in Andre Villas-Boas’ pecking order.
Danny Rose (toe), Etienne Capoue (ankle) and Younes Kaboul (adductor) are also unavailable for the visitors.
Tottenham are 6-3-0 in their last nine league fixtures against Aston Villa, and have already won at Villa Park — a 4-0 victory in Round 3 of the Capital One Cup — this season.
The North Londoners have conceded just one goal (at Arsenal) on their travels in the English Premier League this season.
Aston Villa have remarkably failed to keep a clean sheet in 14 consecutive league games at Villa Park. The Villans have posted a 4-1-9 home record during this run.
Surprisingly, Villa have won more points from losing positions (6) than any other Premier League side this term.
Spurs’ in-form winger Andros Townsend, who put pen to paper on a new four-year contract at White Hart Lane earlier this week, has completed more dribbles (50) than any other player in the Premier League in 2013/14.
Possible Starting Lineups
Aston Villa: Guzan; Bacuna, Vlaar, Clark, Luna; Delph, El Ahmadi, Westwood; Agbonlahor, Kozak, Weimann.
Available substitutes: Steer, Bennett, Herd, Tonev, Bowery, Sylla, Baker, Lowton, Benteke, Tonev, Albrighton, Helenius.
Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris; Walker, Dawson, Vertonghen, Naughton; Dembele, Paulinho; Sigurdsson, Eriksen, Townsend; Soldado.
Available substitutes: Friedel, Gomes, Chiriches, Fryers, Sandro, Chadli, Kaboul, Holtby, Lamela, Defoe, Kane, Adebayor.
Andre Villas-Boas: “That (The 3-0 home defeat to West Ham United) was definitely was a call to attention for us.”
“Everything is open this season, it showed us that surprise results can happen.
“We analysed that game with the squad yesterday when everyone got back and made sure we’re able to give a response against Villa and going forward.”
Aston Villa 2 – Tottenham 2 (14/1)
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