Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Prediction: Aston Villa vs Tottenham

 

Verdict: Under 2.5 goals

Best Odds: 4/5

Bookmaker: Unibet

Desperate to bring an end to what has been a nightmare week, Tottenham will make the trip to an empty Villa Park on Sunday night.

Aston Villa

Starting with the hosts, after throwing away the lead at St. James’ Park last week and watching Newcastle snatch a last-gasp equalizer, Aston Villa have seen their European ambitions take a dent. Struggling to fill the void left by an injured Jack Grealish over the past month, Dean Smith’s side are without a win in their last three Premier League contests. In fact, Villa have won only one of seven league games without Grealish since their 2019 promotion, drawing two and losing four. With their recent issues highlighted by that shock 1-0 defeat against a rock-bottom Sheffield United when opening March, the former Brentford boss has also seen his stalling squad collect just a single win from their last six top-flight matchups. Gaining a reputation for their struggles in front of goal and failing to bag more than a single strike since January 27th, they scored 27 goals in their first 13 league fixtures of the season, but only 12 in the last 14.

Team News

After a month out with a shin injury, Jack Grealish will face a fitness test on Sunday morning ahead of potentially returning to the squad at Villa Park.

Bertrand Traore should be available despite injuring his ribs last week, while defender Matty Cash could be set for a recall.

Tottenham

As for the visitors, crashing out of the Europa League in what was the most shocking of fashion in midweek, Tottenham really have the feel of a club in crisis. With Thursday’s stunning 3-0 defeat away at Croatian outfit Dinamo Zagreb billed as one of the worst performances in Tottenham’s European history, the mood in their camp is at a critical low. With the pressure starting to reach a boiling point for Jose Mourinho and even skipper Hugo Lloris calling their midweek display a “disgrace”, Spurs also showed their issues with that North London collapse last weekend. Despite taking the lead against bitter rivals Arsenal on the road, the former Manchester United boss saw his side eventually get hit with a deserved 2-1 defeat and their top-four ambitions have taken a real dent. Along with that woeful Europa League departure earlier in the week, Tottenham have lost four of their past five away Premier League matches, as many as in their previous 20.

Team News

Erik Lamela serves a one-game ban as a consequence of last week’s sending off.

Giovani Lo Celso returned from injury as a substitute against Dinamo Zagreb on Thursday night and he could make his first league appearance since December.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Aston Villa have won just one of the past 19 meetings in all competitions, drawing three times and losing 15.
  • Along with failing to win any of their last three Premier League contests, Sunday’s hosts have won just one of their last six top-flight matches.
  • Including that 3-0 defeat out in Croatia on Thursday evening, Tottenham have suffered back-to-back defeats over the past week.
  • Spurs have also lost four of their past five away Premier League matches, as many as in their previous 20.
  • Aston Villa have scored 27 goals in their first 13 league fixtures of the season, but only 12 in the last 14.

Conclusion

Crashing out of the Europa League and watching Arsenal pick up North London bragging rights all in the space of the past seven days, Tottenham find themselves in the midst of a real crisis. Gaining a real reputation for their issues on the road, don’t be surprised to see what could be a cagey affair in the midlands this weekend. While Spurs might be seeking a real boost on Sunday night, they’re not the only Premier League side enduring a recent struggle. Eventually having to settle for a last-gasp point away at Newcastle last time out, Aston Villa have really struggled to fill the void left by Jack Grealish’s injury. Showing their own problems in the final third and only recording 12 goals in their last 14 top-flight contests, we’re backing under 2.5 goals at Villa Park this weekend.

Verdict: Under 2.5 goals

Best Odds: 4/5

Bookmaker: Unibet

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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