33 points still to play for, Spurs at Villa Park and match facts from the BBC

I think this is the third week in a row I've mentioned that we're very much in the business end of the season, so writing that Spurs is an important match doesn't really seem to do it justice.

We know this is an important match. If we win tomorrow, it's then eight points between us and Spurs. Yes, they'll have a game in hand, but they'll need to win that and we'll still have that eight point gap at 3pm tomorrow. And if that happens, you might even start to see some posts about how we could finish in the top four.

There are other things I'm going to write about, but we need that gap first and even if we get the win tomorrow, it doesn't mean for sure it's top four. And it could go the other way. If Spurs win tomorrow, it's down to a two point gap and then, worse case scenario is they go and win that game in hand and we find ourselves in fifth place.

There are three possible results tomorrow and whatever happens tomorrow isn't going to define our season, it's essentially going to nudge us and that could be the right way or the wrong way. We still have plenty of matches to rectify that nudge, if it's in the wrong direction.

We're in the business end of the season, but there is still plenty of time to go. To put it another way, we've got 55 points right now, but there are 33 still to play for. I have a feeling there are going to be weekends when we think we've lost it and a weekend or two after that, feel like it's within our grasp again. 

The truth of the matter is, with that many points still to play for, there is no way to know what's going to happen. But we should be going into the match with a little confidence tomorrow. It's just a case of can we turn that into the right result. 

Ajax next week too

And I can't write a post and not mention Ajax and while the result wasn't what we wanted, we saw a performance that I think set us up for Spurs tomorrow and for next week. And I didn't write this before the match, but I thought we'd go out and try to put Ajax to bed early.

I thought we would start with our strongest eleven and try and put them to the sword. I thought the manager would then bring off a player every ten minutes into the second half, so we'd be able to focus on Sunday and maybe not have to worry too much next week. 

But that's why he's a successful manager and why I just write stupid words about it every now and then. 

Match facts from the BBC


  • Aston Villa have beaten Spurs in three successive Premier League meetings for the first time since a club record run of four from 1994 to 1996.
  • Tottenham are looking to avoid back-to-back away league defeats against Villa for the first time since 2004.

Aston Villa

  • Aston Villa have won their past three league games, as many as in their previous eight attempts (D2, L3).
  • Villa's tally of 59 goals scored in the Premier League this season is their second highest. They ended 2007-08 with 71 goals.
  • However, they have conceded nine goals in their past four home league matches, one more than in their previous 16 at Villa Park.
  • Ollie Watkins has been directly involved in 26 Premier League goals this season, the most of any player in the competition.
  • Watkins' 16 league goals so far this campaign is his best Premier League return, surpassing the 15 he scored last season.
  • Leon Bailey and Watkins have combined for seven league goals in 2023-24, more than any other pair.

Tottenham Hotspur

  • Tottenham have won only one of their past six away league games (D3, L2).
  • Spurs are on a club league record run of scoring in 38 consecutive matches, stretching back to a 1-0 defeat at Wolves on 4 March last year.
  • Nonetheless, they have kept only one clean sheet in their past 17 Premier League matches.
  • Son Heung-min has been involved in 19 goals in his last 20 league appearances, with 13 goals and six assists.
  • Son has five goals in his three previous games at Villa Park.
  • James Maddison has 17 goals and 19 assists in his last 50 Premier League matches with Leicester and Spurs.