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An abject display on Thursday night saw Tottenham dumped out of the Europa League by Dinamo Zagreb, despite having taken a 2-0 advantage into that fixture, adding to the gloom following a damaging North London derby defeat last weekend.
Jose Mourinho will be demanding a reaction from his troops here as they look to get back to their previous form, having won each of their previous five outings and plundered 15 goals.
However, the level of opposition from that run has to be taken into account as they faced bottom-half outfits Burnley, Fulham and Crystal Palace domestically, as well as Wolfsberger and that first-leg clash with Dinamo Zagreb in Europe.
Villa’s push for a European spot has faltered badly over the past month as they’ve won just once in six appearances.
A narrow defeat to Leicester was understandable, but they’ve dropped points with bottom-half sides as they drew with Brighton, Wolves and Newcastle, while also suffering a defeat to rock-bottom Sheffield Utd.
Worryingly ahead of this fixture, the midlands club have lost five of their last six against the teams above them in the table, drawing the other, so Tottenham will fancy their chances of getting back on track.
Villa aren’t playing like a top-half team at present, and the visitor’s recent goalscoring exploits against the lower teams suggests their attack will be hard to contain.
Erik Lamela delighted with his sensational nutmeg rabona last weekend, but his red card leaves him suspended here and he joins Heung-mins Son on the sidelines. The loss of the South Korean will hurt, but with the presence of Harry Kane and Gareth Bale recapturing some form, Spurs’ output shouldn’t be drastically curtailed.
Spurs Draw No Bet
Unsurprisingly, Villa’s downturn in form has coincided with star man Jack Grealish’s absence, with the England international touch and go to return in this fixture.
The same is true for centre-back Kortney Hause, though his absence shouldn’t be felt as keenly with Tyrone Mings and Esri Konsa the established partnership in the middle.
Dean Smith has better news with Anwar El Ghazi and Matty Cash returning to the matchday squad last time out, and the former’s availability should prove particularly handy with impressive winger Bertrand Traore seemingly set for a spell on the sidelines after a nasty collision with the advertising boards.
Villa have now failed to score more than once in any of their past nine outings, and with Traore sidelined and Grealish a doubt, they may struggle at the sharp end here.
Seven of those games saw fewer than three goals, with six featuring just one strike or less, though we’d be wary of backing ‘unders’ this time around.
Both meetings last term contained a minimum of four goals, with this their first meeting in the current campaign, and the possible return of Grealish will no doubt help improve Villa’s creativity.
We’d tentatively back Tottenham draw no bet here, but it’s worth paying attention to the last-minute team news for this one.