Tottenham will be hoping for their sixth win in seven home Premier League matches when they take on Aston Villa, who have lost on each of their last four visits to White Hart Lane.
Forgotten duo Vlad Chiriches and Paulinho were restored to the Spurs starting XI for the draw at Burnley, where they contributed little to a dull encounter. For the second away match in succession, Harry Kane’s threat was totally nullified and he was provided with little service as his side lacked ideas.
With Manchester City continuing to falter, the North Londoners may sense a chance to make a late run towards the top four, and to do that they must play better than they have in recent weeks. A key battle here could be in midfield where Ryan Mason will relish the chance to compete with England colleague Fabian Delph.
A lot of the attention will be on Villa boss Tim Sherwood as he returns to Spurs for the first time since losing his job as Head Coach in May 2014, and it has not taken him long to make an impression in the West Midlands. That said, they are still just two points clear of danger, so avoiding defeat here is key.
Indeed, they came within seven minutes of falling into the bottom three on Tuesday, only for the rejuvenated Christian Benteke to curl home a free-kick and complete his hat-trick to secure a point against Queens Park Rangers. It was a game which saw Villa play some of their best football of the season, so a similar display may serve them well in this one.
Michel Vorm is likely to continue deputising in goal for Tottenham, who are hopeful over the fitness of Kyle Walker, Roberto Soldado and Jan Vertonghen.
Aly Cissokho could make his return from injury for Aston Villa, but Alan Hutton, Carles Gil and Scott Sinclair are unlikely to be fit enough.
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