Villa to bounce back? Villa to get revenge from last seasons 5-1 thumping? Well, all the words from O’Leary and co will echo what they said last week when we faced West Ham. Talk on the pitch not off it would be far more productive though.
David O’Leary says: ‘Where have all my players gone?!’
Mark Delaney says: ‘A win last weekend (v West Ham) could have pushed us up the league and put us on the right road, going into two tough games with Tottenham and Chelsea. A lot of teams who are around us won, and there is a big bunch there. You can either go upwards or get yourself dragged into things again, so we need to put Saturday behind us and go on another run.’
Robbie Keane says: ‘Team spirit is still high and there is plenty of banter flying about. Everyone seems to be fine but it is on Saturday we have to prove it. The good thing about having a few away games is that you look forward to playing at home even more. I’m sure all the lads will be up for it and will want to put a decent show on like we did last time against Newcastle. We played ever so well in that game and I’m sure the fans will want us to play like that again.’
Tottenham Hotspur Team News:
Ledley King has a groin injury but should be able to continuing playing despite the pain. Michael Dawson is struggling with a shin injury. Mido and Noureddine Naybet are both on African Cup of Nations duty. Paul Stalteri is suspended. Andy Reid – linked to Nottingham Forest and Portsmouth, is available for selection. (from): Cerny, Robinson, Lee, Tainio, Gardner, King, Dawson, Carrick, Jenas, Davids, Brown, Kelly, Defoe, Keane, Rasiak, Lennon, Routledge, Reid.
Player to watch: Robbie Keane
Has a habit of scoring against Villa.
Aston Villa Team News:
Gareth Barry returns from a one match suspension. Bouma is still out so it will be interesting to see if Jlloyd Samuel can retain his place or whether Barry is preferred as left back. Hendrie should now start following the return to Leeds for Eirik Bakke. Phillips made a scoring return for the reserves this week but isn’t expected to play a part in this match as he has been out for two months and needs to build his fitness up. (from) Sorensen, Taylor, Hughes, Delaney, Mellberg, Ridgewell, Samuel, McCann, Milner, Davis, Angel, Baros, Moore, Gardner, Whittingham, Hendrie.
Player to watch: Mark Delaney
Been a rock lately, we will need both him and Mellberg to be tough to keep the likes of Defoe out of range.
Match Facts & Stats
Villa are 15th with 25 points.
Best case: 11th
Worst case: realistically staying 15th on goal difference.
Current form league: 11th
Last six games: L W D D W L
Away form league: 10th, 3 wins, 4 draws, 4 losses.
McCann, Mellberg and Samuel are all one card short of a suspension. Whereas I’m one card short of a full deck.
Spurs are 4th with 40 points.
Best case: 4th
Worst case: 5th on goal difference.
Current form league: 6th
Last six league games: D W L W W L
Home form league: 4th, 7 wins, 3 draws, 1 loss.
Last season: Tottenham Hotspur 5-1 Aston Villa
(Kanoute 6, King 19, Kanoute 27, Reid 67, Kelly 90)
(Barry 45 pen)
This season at Villa Park 1-1 (Milner 4) (Keane 78)
Record in Prem: Spurs 7 wins, Villa 11 wins, Draws 9
Record at White Hart Lane: Spurs 6 wins, Villa 3 wins, Draws 4.
Graham Poll. 17 matches, 3 reds, 71 yellows.
Sorry, as much as Mystic Mug would like to say an away win, he just doesn’t see it on the cards. Home win, 1-0. Best Villa can fight for is a draw UNLESS they wake up from the sort of form they showed against West Ham.
28/01/2006 PORT VALE (FA Cup 4th round)