Thursday, November 17, 2011

Tottenham's Home League Record against Villa

Another weekend of catch-up for Tottenham as their home game against Aston Villa has been moved to Monday evening for live television coverage.  Spurs, as they seek to continue their impressive Premier League form, will know what to expect from a team put out by Alex McLeish.

Tottenhan Hotspur v Aston Villa
Aston Villa come to White Hart Lane with the knowledge that Tottenham won the two matches last season with Rafael Van der Vaart scoring all four Spurs goals.  They will be hoping that he doesn't recover from the injury he received in the Holland match last weekend while every Spurs supporter will be wishing him a speedy recovery.  

Villa with Alex McLeish in charge are currently in 8th position with fifteen points.  They remained undefeated in their opening seven games of the season but only managed two wins.  They have yet to win away from Villa Park but are proving difficult to beat with four draws and their only defeat coming at Manchester City (1 - 4).  They drew at Fulham, Everton, QPR and Sunderland.  Their home record shows a defeat against West Brom, draws with Wolves and Newcastle while defeating Wigan, Blackburn and Norwich City (3 - 2), in their last game. 

Darren Bent and Gabriel Agboniahor are joint top scorers with five goals each.  Bent who for some unaccountable reason always seems fired up when playing against Spurs, scored twice against Norwich with Agboniahor getting the other.  Stiliyan Petrov has scored two goals while Richard Dunne, Emile Heskey, Barry Bannon who may be available, and Stephen Warnock have scored one each.

McLeish made a number of signings during the summer.  He has added experience to his squad rather than rely on the younger players who have come through the Villa Academy in recent years.  He signed Shay Given to replace Brad Friedel who arrived at White Hart Lane on a free.  Moving in the other direction, Alan Hutton joined his former Rangers manager for £4 million and Jermain Jenas went on a season long loan deal.  Hutton who spoke out against Harry Redknapp after his departure from Spurs will, like Bent, feel that he has a point to prove against Tottenham.  Jenas who came on as a sub against Norwich, following injury, for his first game can not play as he is on loan.  Villa have a very experienced defence with Dunne and James Collins in the centre.  Charles N'Zogbia was signed from Wigan to bring pace and creativity to the midfield as well as his goal scoring touch.

Alex McLeish's teams are hard working and full of endeavour so Tottenham know that they will make it difficult for them to play their fast moving game.  They have plenty of experience and will look to stifle Tottenham early on and look to score on the break and from set pieces.  

Premier League Home Record v Aston Villa 
P  19  W  8  D  7  L  4  For  28  Ag  22

Home League Record v Aston Villa 
P  68  W  34  D  14  L  22  For  131  Ag  120 

Last 6 League Games v Aston Villa at White Hart Lane
Oct. 2010  PL  Won 2 - 1 Van der Vaart (2)
Villa went ahead after sixteen minutes through Albrighton but Van der Vaart equalised before the interval.  He scored the winner with fifteen minutes remaining.
Feb. 2010  PL  Draw 0 - 0
Villa frustrated Spurs with a tight defensive display with Friedel playing his part as they earned a point. 
Sept. 2008  PL  Lost 1 - 2  Bent
The Monday night televised match in the early stages of Tottenham's 'two points from 8 games' start to the season under Juande Ramos.  Reo-Coker scored after five minutes for Villa and Luke Young increased their lead early in the second half.   Darren Bent scored a consolation goal with three minutes remaining. 
Oct. 2007  PL  Draw 4 - 4  Berbatov, Chimbonda, Keane (p), Kaboul
Another Monday evening match for Tottenham's 125th Anniversary game.  Dimitar Berbatov gave Spurs the lead after twenty minutes.  Villa quickly equalised and after an hour were 4 - 1 ahead with Paul Robinson culpable for a number of the goals.  Things were not going to plan on Spurs' 'big night' but a late rally saw Pascal Chimbonda pull one back with twenty minutes remaining, Robbie Keane scored from the penalty spot on 82 minutes and Younes Kaboul led rapturous celebrations after his goal in added time.
Dec. 2006  PL  Won 2 - 1  Defoe (2)
The Boxing Day match saw two second half goals from Jermain Defoe enable Spurs supporters to enjoy the festive celebrations.  Gareth Barry replied with a late goal.
Jan. 2006  PL  Draw 0 - 0
Thomas Sorensen almost single-handedly earned Villa a point they didn't deserve.  Tottenham fans simply couldn't believe that their team had failed to score in a game which they dominated and where they had created so many chances.   

Memorable Games at White Hart Lane
There have been a number of high scoring games between the two clubs but even though Spurs have had home advantage, they haven't always come out on top.

Tottenham's last big win was in April, 2005 when they won 5 - 1.  Fredi Kanoute scored twice, with Andy Reid, Ledley King and Stephen Kelly, his only goal for the club, getting the others.

In April, 2000, I watched Tottenham totally dominate the game for an hour and be two goals ahead through Stefan Iversen and Chris Armstrong.  Spurs then conceded a controversial penalty for Villa score four times in twelve minutes to take the three points.
Gerry Frances was managing Spurs for the first time in October, 1994 but Villa scored three times in six minutes midway through the first half.  Teddy Sheringham scored before the interval and Jurgen Klinsmann added a penalty early in the second half.  With less than twenty remaining Spurs levelled through an own goal and looked to have earned a point until the third minute of injury time when Villa snatched the win.

Villa won 5 - 2 in April, 1992 when a Gary Lineker goal and another own goal were all that Tottenham could manage.

In March, 1966 the match ended 5 - 5.  Spurs scored three in the first fifteen minutes, were 4-1 ahead at half-time and 5-1 up after five minutes of the second half.  The scorers were Alan Gilzean, Jimmy Greaves, Frank Saul, Laurie Brown and Jimmy Robertson.  Then came the Villa fight back.  They scored three goals in four minutes, equalised with 11 minutes to go and should have won when with three minutes remaining Tony Hateley was clean through, took the ball around Pat Jennings but hesitated and allowed Alan Mullery time to recover and clear.

On Monday evening Tottenham fans will be hoping that Harry Redknapp is well enough to return to his managerial duties after his surgery and that the players returning from international duty are free from injury and can maintain the form they show for their countries.   They will be looking for two names, in particular, who make all the difference to the team - Ledley King and Van der Vaart.  They will want Spurs to produce their brand of fast, tricky football for the whole game and not just one half.  In recent games after gaining the ascendency they have put themselves under pressure by conceding from a corner and then had to battle to retain their advantage.  Free-kicks and corners will again be an area of concern as Villa are a team who focus on taking advantage in these situations and have the players who can cause problems - Dunne, Collins, Warnock, Bent and Agboniahor.  

A win is vital as Spurs strive to keep up with the top teams while still retaining their game in hand which has been re-scheduled for early January.  It is a game Spurs will feel that they should win but Villa will make it very difficult for them to take the three points. 


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