So here we are at the season’s end. One more Spurs game to go, where Aston Villa are the visitors to White Hart Lane. It doesn’t seem that long ago that the midlands side were challenging Tottenham for the European places. This season Villa only guaranteed their Premier League survival last weekend. A cautionary tale – maybe we should count our blessings.
Spurs beat Villa 2-0 back in October. The game saw one of those rarest of things, a goal from open play for Roberto Soldado. Since then Spurs have of course changed manager but Villa’s Paul Lambert has clung on, despite his side languishing in 15th place in the table.
Lambert normally sets up in a 4-3-3, although he has experimented a little recently. Christian Benteke is usually the spearhead of the attack but is out injured at present with a ruptured Achilles tendon. Agbonlahor has been been used in his place but he is a very different type of striker. Weimann and Albrighton will probably complete the front three while Fabian Delph is one to watch in central midfield.
Villa are an aggressive side and top the foul count for the Premier League. In addition they have collected the most yellow cards this term but strangely have yet to pick up a red. They do not generally have much possession, sitting 17th in the league with an average of 43.7%. An indication of the type of football they play can be found in their pass statistics – they make the third lowest passes in the division, yet the most long balls. They tend to play through the middle and take a lot of shots from distance.
Villa are not in good form having only earned 4 points from the last 24, although this was preceded by a win against Chelsea. Last weekend, a good victory at Hull saw them safe from relegation but this was followed by a 4-0 loss to Manchester City in midweek.
Tottenham will be glad a difficult season is coming to an end. They will be looking to finish on a high at home after the debacle of last weeks loss at West Ham. A poor Villa side with nothing to play for should provide Spurs with a great opportunity for a morale boosting win in what will probably be Tim Sherwood’s last game in charge. It’s been a tough ask for the rookie manager but he has shown himself to be lacking in experience, man management ability and tactical knowledge. Tottenham have to move on and I won’t be sad to see him go.
Townsend, Capoue and Walker are all out. Disappointingly, It seems there won’t be a dream last game return for Lamela but there is a chance Vertonghen and Dembele may feature. Kaboul is suspended after his red card at Upton Park. I would pair Dembele with Eriksen in central midfield, to regain some of the control in the centre that has been missing in recent games.
Lennon and Chadli should play on the wings. As it’s the last game I would experiment with Kane and Soldado up front. Maybe having Kane playing off him will help the Spanish forward find his form. In addition I would drop Rose for Fryers.
Here’s my team:
Who knows who will be manager and which players will be back next season. It should be an interesting summer.
Addendum: The latest news on the Spurs website suggests that Dembele is out, while Capoue is in contention. I would love to see the Frenchman back in midfield, he is exactly what we have been missing. He can shield the defence but also has a decent range of passes to start moves off. If he is ready I would put him in on Sunday.
Would you play this team? Please leave your comments in the section below.