Premier League Betting: Aston Villa v Tottenham - Fan v Fan Preview



Villa perspective: David Grimble, Up The Villa.

Team news

After the humiliating 8-0 defeat against Chelsea, Lambert has to make changes. We were torn apart time after time, and I’d expect/hope Lambert to tighten things up against a Tottenham side not short of quality. It will be interesting to see whether we persist with the 3-5-2 that had done well prior to the Stamford Bridge nightmare, because I wouldn’t be surprised to revert to a more traditional 4-4-2. Doubts remain over Ron Vlaar, Charles N’Zogbia and Gabriel Agbonlahor but they can’t come back quickly enough.

Form

Wow. I actually really fancied us against Chelsea. Fair to say I was slightly off on that one. Prior to the match we were on a decent unbeaten run, and had only conceded 3 times in 6 games, yet it fell apart in dramatic style against the Blues. You have to hope that our young team aren’t affected too much by this defeat, and Lambert will have his work cut out to raise the boys for what is a tough game.

Head-to-head

Tottenham are definitely in the ‘bogey side’ category for Aston Villa: we haven’t beaten them since the 2008/2009 season. Last season we were beaten 2-0 at White Hart Lane, in what is a bit of an infamous game for us Villans. Alex McLeish went with the inspired season to place Alan Hutton in right midfield in an attempt to mark Gareth Bale out of the game, forgetting that the rest of the Tottenham side aren’t too bad. The home game finished 1-1 towards the end of the season, and that point was key in us staying up.

Best bets

Villa/Draw HT/FT at 15.00. You have to imagine that Lambert will have the team extremely fired up after the humiliation in London, and I hope that we see a response. Tottenham are traditionally a side we struggle against, though, so I’d expect them to come back in the second half.

Andreas Weimann to score first at 12.50. He was one of the only players to leave Stamford Bridge with any credit, and came close to scoring when Cech forced his shot onto the bar. He has scored five in seven, and this is a good price for him to strike again.

Jermain Defoe to score last goal at 5.50. He’s done well against us over the years, and I expect Tottenham to be pushing second half. It would be no surprise should Defoe pop up with a goal.

Score prediction: Villa 1-1 Spurs (6.75)

Predicted side

Spurs perspective: Matt Harris, TottenhamBlog.

Team news

There are no reports of fresh injuries ahead of this match, so Spurs may well field the same side that faced Stoke at the weekend. Having scored just once in their last two home games, however, Andre Villas-Boas may be tempted to switch formation to 4-3-3 in an attempt to accommodate Clint Dempsey. That could see Emmanuel Adebayor drop to the bench with Dempsey stationed behind lone striker Jermain Defoe.

Form

Overall our form is excellent, with just one defeat in six league matches, but we’ve scored just twice in our last three. At the other end we’ve kept two clean sheets in a row – a rare feat for any Tottenham side. Hugo Lloris is settling into his role as first choice keeper and while Spurs will be hard to break down at the back, a return to form for the strikers would be welcome on Boxing Day.

Head-to-head

Spurs have a good record against Villa and haven’t been beaten in the away fixture since 2007/08. Since then, there have been two draws and two wins including a 2-1 victory at Villa Park in the Boxing Day game of 2010. Rafael van der Vaart inspired that victory and although the Dutchman may have gone, Spurs should continue that fine run on Wednesday.

Best bets

Both teams to score at 1.70. Our defence looks tighter now but this should be a safe bet away from home.

Gareth Bale to score anytime at 3.25. Good value for a man who looked in great nick after his comeback from injury.

Over 2.5 goals at 1.88. I expect an open, attacking game from both sides, so goals should be a certainty.

Score prediction: Aston Villa 1-2 Spurs (8.75)

Predicted side