Aston Villa will be looking to make it three consecutive wins in the Premier League when we take on Tottenham in north London on Sunday.
After victories over Everton and Man Utd, Dean Smith’s side are starting to find their feet this season and live up to the potential in this squad.
While it’s still far from our best, it’s certainly exciting times as our performances and form improve, and it’s hoped that will continue this weekend as we look to record back-to-back wins on trips to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
As with every game, there will be battles within the main scrap on the pitch, and they could prove to be decisive to the outcome of the game.
Villa back three vs Kane
It hasn’t been the greatest of starts to the season for Harry Kane, but the Tottenham talisman bagged a hat-trick in Europe in midweek to make it six goals in nine appearances so far this season.
None of those have come in the Premier League, and it’s hoped that with Mings, Hause and Konsa defending by committee against him, it’ll stay that way after this weekend.
Villa have a commanding and physically imposing back three, and if we can nullify Kane and push him away from goal to take away the threat he poses, we’ll have a huge opportunity to get a positive result.
Cash vs Son
Matty Cash’s energy and commitment down the right flank has seen him put in some solid defensive displays since he joined us, but he’s now adding a new dynamic to his game.
With one goal and one assist in seven appearances across all competitions so far this season, he’s already surpassed his goal tally from last year and is half-way towards matching his assists from all of the last campaign.
In turn, while his primary assignment will be to keep Heung-Min Son quiet, if he can push forward, force the Spurs star to defend and frustrate him, it will be a key win in another mini-battle.
As with every game, the midfield battle is vitally important. If Hojbjerg, Skipp and Lo Celso are allowed to dictate the tempo and dominate possession, it makes our task more difficult.
In contrast, if Douglas Luiz can do that for us, with the energy and tenacity of McGinn going both ways to give us a foothold and Jacob Ramsey breaking forward to cause problems for the Tottenham defence, this could tip the balance of the game in either side’s favour.
Watkins vs Spurs defence
Danny Ings will be desperate to get amongst the goals again too, but it will be the pressing and pressure of Ollie Watkins high up the pitch which will set the tempo and standard for Villa.
If he’s able to force the Spurs defence into mistakes and/or rush them into losing possession when trying to play the ball into midfield, it’s going to set us up well to break forward in numbers and hurt them.
Watkins is still waiting for his first goal of the season though, and so it will be great to see him get off the mark on Sunday too.