Match Preview: Spurs at Villa Park on a special day

We shared the points last season, us beating Spurs in London and them beating us at Villa Park and the season before saw both of us in one of the games of the season at White Hart Lane, when we quite literally threw away three points. I write this because this match has goals written all over it and I expect to see them on Saturday.

Spurs are going to be brimming with confidence but I think we will also, despite the draw at Burnley. Our home form is better this season and our average is two goals a game and I really wouldn't be surprised to see us score two on Saturday also.

The thing is, Spurs are scoring for fun at the moment. Their goal difference is the same as Manchester United and while that can be attributed to the 9-1 win against Wigan, prior to that match they had still scored twenty-three goals (two goals more than we have scored all season), eleven of those away from White Hart Lane.

But, and you've probably thought of this too, they don't have a great defensive record. Don't get me wrong, it isn't poor, it's just not as good as ours or the teams above them. They've let in 18 goals this season and eleven of those came away from home, against our total of 13, of which we have only let in five at Villa Park.

See what I'm doing? I'm trying to state the obvious and my case for why this will be a good game. To win and pick up three points, you have to score more than the opposition and the way it all sits, we score at home and let few in, Spurs score but also let in too. I think there are goals in this match and it will be a perfect end to what I'm predicting might very well be a dull Saturday before this match.

Quick Two from White Hart Lane

In a new feature, that I'm going to try and add to each preview post, I've asked Dan from two quick questions.

Q: You are 4th today. Do you think you will still be on Sunday morning and what is your prediction for this match?
A: I expect we'll still be fourth whatever happens, as you'd need to beat us by four goals to take our place and Arsenal still have a much better goal difference than us, despite our result last Sunday.

It's strange to say this coming off the back of a 9-1 victory, but I'd be pretty happy with a draw. We don't have a great record against Villa and you're in good form, so I'm saying 1-1.
Q: You can have one Aston Villa player, who would it be and why?
A: Probably Ashley Young. We don't really need him, as we've got Modric and Kranjcar who can play on the left side, but he's a brilliant player. Young and Lennon on either wing would be a nightmare for opposing full backs.

Early Team News

James Collins is a doubt for this match which would mean Carlos Cueller partnering Richard Dunne and while Collins has had a fantastic start with us, I've got no worries with Cueller, I've always liked him and he is still growing on me every time I see him.

Stewart Downing also played for the reserves last night and while some might think it too early for him to make a start, I really wouldn't be surprised to see him start on Saturday but if he doesn't, whatever is happening, I also expect him to make an appearance. If he were to start, it would be very interesting to see what O'Neill does as I really don't think he is going to drop Milner or Webcam for him and having all three on the pitch at the same time, I think, really could make our season.

But it is up front that interests me the most. Heskey scored against Burnley and that might be enough for O'Neill to start the player. It shouldn't be, because if it was then Reo-Coker would have started against Burnley after his performance against Bolton but he didn't and I'd put money on the player now leaving in January, if someone would take the bet, but I think O'Neill thinks differently about Heskey and that goal, will be enough for him to justify his inclusion from the start and I would see Carew making way for him.

It isn't a bad thing. I quite like Carew coming off the bench, he always seems to make an impact and he hasn't looked that interested of late when he has started. What this all ultimately means is that O'Neill has a group of players to pick from and that is a good thing.

Prediction Time

I was, if I'm honest, expecting a different prediction from Dan, but I think he is just playing the cautious supporter and that is exactly what I'm going to be today. I can see goals but if there is going to be a winner I can see it late and if that happens, it will go to Spurs, but I think our back four will stand firm on Saturday, so I'm also going for a draw.

It's too difficult a match to say we will win, however we ran a quick question yesterday and 66.2% of you that voted think this is a home win while 21.9%, like me think it will be a draw. The rest put it down as an away win and they're either predicting the worst hoping for the best or know something we don't.

When Saturday Comes

We will be updating here with a live match post and on our Twitter page here, so, please, tell me how you voted below and don't forget, if you are going on Saturday, get to the ground early as there is the unveiling of the William McGregor statue, I think at 4pm.