Tottenham Hotspur-Aston Villa Preview
Inside or out of the Premier League, Tottenham Hotspur have put a rather solid run of form together over the last month.
Spurs aim to extend their unbeaten run over all competitions to seven straight matches on Sunday against host Aston Villa.
Since losing 1-0 to Liverpool in league play on Jan. 11, Tottenham (10-7-8) are 4-2-0 over all competitions and topped defending champions Manchester City 2-0 in their most recent top-flight contest on Feb. 2. That unbeaten stretch also includes advancement in the FA Cup, and following this match sits ahead of next week's Champions League Round of 16 - which begins with a first-leg tie versus Leipzig.
"We've (got) a key run of matches coming up, and we'll need to be 100 percent ready for them," defender Ben Davies told Spurs' official website. "We're winning games, and that's most important.
"We've got to stick to the principles the gaffer sets out and perform as a team."
Tottenham's current run of form has been rather impressive considering star Harry Kane remains out with a hamstring injury and they did not sign a striker in the recent transfer window. Heung-Min Son (14 goals overall) has helped pick up the slack with a goal in four straight contests over all competitions.
Son did not feature during Spurs' 3-1 home victory over Aston Villa (7-4-14) to open this season. Kane had a brace in that contest and Tanguy Ndombele opened the scoring for Tottenham, who have won four in a row against Villa over all competitions.
Spurs are also amid a 7-2-0 overall stretch at Villa, and have won five straight during that span.
Whilst that does not seem to bode well for Villa, it's important to note that Sunday's hosts have won two of their last three league home matches. And, Tottenham are 0-2-1 on the road in league play since winning at Wolves on Dec. 15.
"It's going to be a different (Tottenham) team than we played against on the first day of the season because they've got a new head coach," Villa manager Dean Smith told his club's official website.
"Obviously, (Jose Mourinho's) in there now and he'll have different ideas to Mauricio Pochettino.
"They're without Harry Kane, which is a big loss, but they've got an awful lot of quality within that team."
Aston Villa return to league action after falling 2-1 at Bournemouth on Feb. 1. They enter this weekend's matchday just outside of the relegation zone and know there is little room for error down the stretch in order to stay up in the top-flight for at least another season.
"There are points to go and play for, points to fight for, and we're in a position where it's in our own hands," Smith said. "There's plenty of games that we can go and win, and that has to start on Sunday."
Jack Grealish leads Aston Villa with seven league goals, but has none in his last three home matches. He's failed to score in four overall contests versus Tottenham.
Updated February 14, 2020