It has been sixteen days since Villa last played a competitive game when they lost to Bournemouth. Tottenham are the visitors today, as Villa return to Premier League action.
Over each of the last three seasons, it has felt like the final of the season are massive for Villa for one reason or another. We have a League Cup Final to look forward to at the end of the month but right now all our attentions are solely on the Premier League.
Villa will be hoping they can cause a shock against a Tottenham side who have underperformed on the road this season. Jose Mourinho’s side has only managed three points more than Dean Smiths men on the road. But Villa will need the kind of luck those sometimes get when they play Heart bingo promotion if they are to get anything.
Smith has mentioned a few times lately that his sides generally perform better in the second half of the season. Villa has picked up 7 points from their last 5 Premier League games. If they were to continue with that kind of form, you would like to think it would be enough for Premier League survival.
TEAM NEWS & INJURY UPDATE
Villa should have Ezri Konsa (thigh) and Danny Drinkwater (calf) available after recovering from their setbacks during the Winter break.
Keinan Davis has picked up yet another injury and is expected to be out until at least the League Cup final with a thigh injury. John McGinn is closing in on a return but it is thought he is still 2-3 weeks away from returning from his ankle injury.
There are still no updates on Jed Steer, Tom Heaton and Wesley who still have long term injuries.
Tottenham are set to welcome back Ben Davies (ankle) and Giovani Lo Celso (thigh) but Erik Lamela will face a late fitness test after picking up a groin injury.
Moussa Sissoko and Harry Kane are not expected to return until late April.
HEAD TO HEAD STATISTICS
TOTTENHAM KEY PLAYER
The obvious shout here would be Harry Kane if he was fit but I will choose Son Heung-Min who has been a crucial part of the Spurs set-up for a number of years now.
The South Korean forward has 7 goals and 7 assists to his name this season so will be a threat to a Villa defence who concede far too many shots.
THOUGHTS ON TOTTENHAM
I look on at Tottenham and think about what could have been. It wasn’t so long ago that Villa and Tottenham were on a very similar level. Since then Spurs have gone from strength to strength while we all know what happened with Villa.
It will be interesting to see how they get on under Mourinho once he has a full pre-season with them. I am a big fan of the Portuguese manager.
(3-4-2-1) Reina; Mings, Engels, Konsa; Guilbert, Nakamba, Luiz, Targett; Grealish, El Ghazi; Samatta.
Bjorn Engels returned to the first team against Bournemouth when he replaced an injured Ezri Konsa. Konsa is fit but I wonder if Smith will bring Engels in for Kortney Hause who seems to struggle at this level.
I think the rest of the team pretty much picks itself.