Premier League Preview: Tottenham Hotspur vs. Aston Villa

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  • Tottenham are unbeaten in 12 league meetings against Aston Villa (W9, D3). They have won the last five, equalling their longest winning run in this fixture.
  • No team has used more substitutes than Tottenham (91) this season but they have only contributed one goal (Kane v Aston Villa in November). Only Villa have fared worse.
  • Villa are still nine points adrift of their lowest final tally in a Premier League campaign: 38 points in 2011-12 and 2013-14. (BBC Sport)

Tottenham Hotspur, in the thick of contention for a Europa League position, will protect their home turf against Aston Villa on Saturday.

Tottenham, currently at sixth place in the Premier League table, is hoping to get a leg up on Liverpool and Southampton. The Reds, at fifth, are tied in points but beat Spurs on goal differential, while the Saints are positioned one point behind Mauricio Pochettino’s crew in seventh place.

Harry Kane has the highest goal tally in the PL beside Chelsea striker Diego Costa, making his case for multiple year-end awards, assuming he contributes for the remainder of the season.

Spurs have won the three out of their past five games, losing to Manchester United, 3-0, and tying Burnley in a scoreless draw last week.

[RELATED: Pochettino praises Sherwood’s eye for young talent]

Meanwhile, Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood is trying to avoid relegation, an area dreaded by every team in England’s top-flight.

Heading into this contest, the Villans haven’t won since a 4-0 blanking of Sunderland on Mar. 14, and they sit at 16th place right now, just three points in front of Queens Park Rangers in the final demotion spot.

Christian Benteke has spurred Villa’s attacking magic as of late, with the Belgian netting seven goals in the past five competitions.

Expect an exhilarating match, available for viewing on NBCSN, or online at NBC Sports Live Extra, at 9:45 a.m. ET.

What they’re saying

Aston Villa boss Tim Sherwood believes on time at former club Tottenham (BBC Sport): “Spurs were a good club for me. I had a good time there. I wouldn’t be here as Aston Villa manager if it wasn’t for my time at Tottenham…It’s good to be the chosen one at a football club the size of Aston Villa. This is the dream job of all time for me. I need to be in the Premier League, I’ve come here to be a Premier League manager.”

Spurs midfielder Erik Lamela on maintaing form for Villa match (Tottenham official website): “We have the firepower in our team to win and, in front of our fans at White Hart Lane, I’m confident we can beat Aston Villa..I hope we can do well against them. It was not a good game for us against Burnley last week but we can change that this weekend…I hope we can win so that we can finish the season well. We need to play very aggressively and try to get the three points.”

Match injuries/absences

Goalkeeper Hugo Lloris and defender Jan Vertonghen are the notable players labeled as doubtful for Spurs. Lloris is dealing with a knee injury, and Vertonghen has sickness.

Defender Kyle Walker is also not up for selection due to a foot issue.

The Villans will be without Scott Sinclair, Alan Hutton, Ashley Westwood and Carles Gil once again. Left back Aly Cissokho is set to return from a groin ailment after a solid week of training.

Prediction

Villa will have the chance to draw level many times, but Tottenham should be able to manage three points behind a excited home crowd. Tottenham 2-1 Aston Villa.