Ahead of Aston Villa’s Premier League home game with Tottenham Hotspur, Dean Smith has spoken about the “awful lot of quality” within the Spurs ranks, subsequently naming four players (Tottenham website).
Villa Park is set to welcome Tottenham on Sunday, the visitors boasting an impressive record over the claret and blue side.
Spurs have not been beaten on their last nine visits and have won their last five away trips at Villa with a combined score of 14-1.
Furthermore, Jose Mourinho’s charges go into the game on the back of two consecutive wins in all competitions, and unbeaten in six.
Villa, meanwhile, will be hoping to bounce back from the 2-1 loss at Bournemouth before their winter break, but their record against the established top six this season hasn’t been too good.
Looking ahead to the game, Smith spoke of how it’ll be a different Spurs team to the one that opened the season against Villa, not to mention the change in the dugout.
“It’s going to be a different team to the one we played against on the first day of the season because they’ve got a new head coach,” Smith is quoted by the Spurs website as saying. “Obviously, Jose’s in there now and he’ll have different ideas to Mauricio Pochettino.
“They’re without Harry Kane, which is a big loss, but they’ve got an awful lot of quality within that team – Bergwijn, Son, Moura and Dele Alli, who’s scoring goals now. They’ve got enough of a threat. They were Champions League finalists last season and they’ve been regular top four finishers, but we’ve got to concentrate on ourselves and that’s the most important thing.”
Harry Kane being out injured may be a big blow, but Tottenham have been doing well in his absence.
Steven Bergwijn could hardly have got his Spurs career off to a better start, with a wonderful debut goal against the reigning champions.
Son Heung-min has certainly done his part, with 14 goals and nine assists this term, while both Lucas Moura and Dele Alli have benefited hugely under Jose Mourinho.
With Spurs well rested following their winter break and eager for a top-four push, they will be heavy favourites to deal another blow to Villa’s top-flight survival hopes.