I’m not going to be at the game today, due to the imminent arrival of my first child. I’ve got a feeling that I’m going to miss an absolute classic, but at least I’ll be able to watch it on TV. Unless that is, he/she decides to pitch up sometime between now and this evening’s kick off. Please just let Daddy watch this one game and then you’ll have my undivided attention.
The match earlier this season at Villa Park saw us taking the game to them for much of the match, whilst they tried to hang on to their one goal lead, employing just one man up front and a packed midfield.
Lately Villa have been playing James Milner in central midfield, with Young and Downing on the flanks, and Heskey and Agbonlahor in attack. It’s a very attacking line up and if they play that way against us, then it may play into our hands.
We’ve looked at our best at White Hart Lane, when teams have tried to attack us and play football. I think that Villa will play on the break a fair bit, but the attacking talent in their team will surely necessitate them showing some intent.
If they’re playing attacking football, then they can’t stop us doing the same. Still, I’ve my doubts as to whether O’Neill will pick such an attacking team against us, so we’ll have to wait and see.
In terms of the team, I’d expect to see King, Modric and Palacios return to the team that beat Leeds, in place of Bassong, Kranjcar and Jenas. All eyes will be on David Bentley to see if he can continue his return to form, while Defoe will be going into this match with plenty of confidence. We might even see a glimpse of Eidur Gudjohnsen and Younes Kaboul, though I’d assume that both will start on the bench.
Liverpool have already won as I type this, so even though it’s Villa, we really need a win. We proved at Villa Park that we can dominate them, but we didn’t pull off the win that we deserved. It’s been a familiar story this season, but tonight we need to prove that we’re mentally tough and claim all three points.
Come on you Spurs!