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    Tottenham Hotspur v Aston Villa: Match Preview

    By Tom Regan

    Tottenham Hotspur have not lost a Premier League game since their opening day defeat to Manchester United. They currently hold the longest unbeaten run in the Premier League, and will look to preserve this statistic when they host Aston Villa at White Hart Lane on Monday night.

    Spurs remain in sixth position in the table with 17 points, while Villa are in dire straits, lying in 20th place with a meagre 4 points following Tim Sherwood's sacking last weekend.

    Mauricio Pochettino will head into the encounter knowing confidence in his youthful squad is sky high after demolishing Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth last weekend. The north Londoner’s fell behind to Matt Ritchie’s 49 second strike, but responded in determined fashion as a Harry Kane hat-trick sealed a 5-1 victory at the Vitality Stadium to make it eight league games unbeaten in the Premier League.

    It was a much needed victory, coming after a frustrating run of four games without a win in all competitions, and just three days after Belgian outfit Anderlecht defeated the Lilywhites 2-1 in the Europa League.

    Despite being in a strong position, it could have been even better for Tottenham if not for drawing five of ten Premier League games. However, there is plenty to suggest the club is heading in the right direction. Pochettino’s methods are working wonders, and with Kane back in the goals, there is nothing to suggest that the unbeaten run can’t be extended.

    Tim Sherwood’s tough Villa reign was finally brought to an end last weekend after the Villans suffered a sixth successive league defeat by losing 2-1 to Swansea City at Villa Park. Sherwood had steered the club away from the relegation zone and taken his team to an FA Cup final last term, but they failed to kick on under his guidance, and he eventually lost his battle in trying to prove he was the right man to improve fortunes on the pitch.

    The loyal Claret and Blue Army supporters already seem resigned to another long relegation battle after picking up just four points from the opening 10 games of the season. Former Lyon coach Remi Garde appears to be the favourite to be installed as manager, but the Frenchman’s coaching staff are contracted to Lyon, making matters complicated as the Villa board swiftly try to appoint a new man.

    Kevin MacDonald has full control for Monday's game after watching the team lose 2-1 to Southampton in the League Cup on Wednesday. Things don’t get any easier for Villa after the trip to White Hart Lane, as they host Manchester City and then travel to Merseyside to face an Everton side that hammered fellow strugglers Sunderland 6-2 on Sunday.

    The hard tackling Ryan Mason returned from a knee injury to make an appearance from the bench against Bournemouth last weekend. Despite being a Spurs regular prior to his spell on the sidelines, the England international faces an almighty difficult challenge if he is to dislodge either Eric Dier or Dele Alli who have both been outstanding.

    Son Heung-min and Nabil Bentaleb are still unavailable for selection, while Nacer Chadli is unlikely to feature until December.

    Villa captain Micah Richards may be on the receiving end of a suspension after he admitted a charge of improper conduct following a clash with Swansea's Federico Fernandez in the tunnel last weekend. Ciaran Clark is on standby to fill in for Richards should the Football Association decide to make a decision before they face the north London outfit on Monday night.

    Adama Traore is one of many players pushing for a start against the Lilywhites as the Spanish youth international looks for his first start with the Claret and Blue Army.

    Sherwood tasted victory against his former employers when Villa beat Tottenham 1-0 in their last meeting in April thanks to a goal from Christian Benteke. Prior to that, Spurs had gone 13 games unbeaten against Villa, with Kane scoring a 90th-minute winner in the reverse fixture last season. Villa have won just one of their last six visits against the north London outfit, scoring just twice in the process.

    Betting Odds (bet365)

    Tottenham: 2/5
    Draw:  4/1
    Aston Villa: 8/1

    Match Prediction

    The Lilywhites have often been accused of being wasteful in front of goal, but nobody could deny their predatory instincts against Bournemouth last weekend. Pochettino's side are proving to be extremely tricky to break down, and no side has conceded fewer goals this term. This does not bode well for a Villa side who have managed just nine league goals this campaign. MacDonald will be looking for a response from his team, but I feel Tottenham will be far too strong for their opponents as the confidence between the two sides is incomparable.

    Tottenham Hotspur 3-0 Aston Villa (9-1 with bet365)
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    Item Reviewed: Tottenham Hotspur v Aston Villa: Match Preview Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Tom Regan
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