Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Prediction: Tottenham vs Aston Villa

With 5-1 hammering of AFC Bournemouth ending the latest winless run, Tottenham Hotspur will fancy their chances of beating managerless Aston Villa at their White Hart Lane. The Villans have now lost six Premier League games in a row, and it remains to be seen whether interim boss Kevin MacDonald can motivate his side to a promising performance on Monday night.

Having failed to do so in the past couple of years, Tottenham really hoped to mount a serious top 4 challenge this time out, but Spurs have yet to prove they can mix it up with the best of them in England. An injury to playmaker Christian Eriksen and poor form of Harry Kane were the main reasons behind the somewhat slow start to the season, but Mauricio Pochettino and his men certainly hope that last week’s 5-1 triumph over AFC Bournemouth will prove to be the turning point. There are no doubts everybody at White Hart Lane were delighted to see Harry Kane bag a hat-trick to announce his return to the biggest stage, and such an impressive victory will keep Spurs in good stead for the visit of bottom-placed Aston Villa. Chances are that Tottenham will attempt to take advantage of the opposition problems by attacking them from the off and there is a good chance Mauricio Pochettino’s side will be at least a goal up at half-time. The Argentine manager still has some injury worries as Heung-Min Son is not yet ready to return and Nabil Bentaleb, Nacer Chadli and Alex Pritchard remain on the sidelines, but Ryan Mason is pushing for a start following the promising showing last week.

After narrowly avoiding the drop last term, Aston Villa made a real effort to avoid another relegation tussle and they splashed out on quite a few quality players in the summer. However, with the majority of summer recruits arriving from French Ligue 1, they appear to have experienced issues with adapting to the Premier League demands, with only Gueye and Ayew keeping their places in the side. Even if some will argue that the club should have had more confidence in manager Tim Sherwood, the run of six straight Premier League defeats was clearly a legitimate reason for the Villans to part ways with the former Tottenham Hotspur boss. Aston Villa management have yet to sign a replacement, with Kevin MacDonald in charge of the team until the process is over. It will be difficult for him to improve the players’ spirits ahead of the trip to White Hart Lane, with the Villans also losing to Southampton in the Capital One Cup, but at least he will have almost all key men available. Joleon Lescott and Greg Gardner could both recover in time to face Spurs, although Tiago Ilori lacks match fitness.

Conclusion

Tottenham Hotspur appear to have finally hit the ground running, with Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen both rediscovering their form. We, therefore, expect Spurs to go all guns blazing at out-of-sorts Aston Villa, who look set for seventh consecutive defeat.

Verdict: Tottenham/Tottenham

Best Odds: 21/20

Bookmaker: William Hill

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