Aston Villa v Tottenham

Last updated : 24 December 2010 By BBC Sport

Tottenham's Jermaine Jenas, Younes Kaboul and Rafael van der Vaart are all expected to return after injury.

William Gallas faces a fitness test on his hamstring problem, but Ledley King is still not yet fully fit.

Aston Villa

Doubtful: Delph & Petrov (both knee), A Young (ankle/knee), L Young (groin)

Injured: Sidwell (Achilles), Weimann (ankle)


Doubtful: Gallas (hamstring)

Injured: Huddlestone (ankle), King & Woodgate (both groin), O'Hara (back)


Christmas cheer has been thin on the ground at Villa Park as manager Gerard Houllier continues to battle behind the scenes with dressing room unrest. January could prove to be an interesting month as he begins to overhaul a squad that is riddled with players with huge question marks hanging over their futures.

I think the players sometimes have to realise and we, the staff as well, that we are at a good club with good facilities and we are paid to come to training to get fit for games

Aston Villa boss Gerard Houllier

Like many managers in the new year he will be relying on chairman Randy Lerner to dig deep to provide funds for the January transfer window. But Houllier could be forgiven for having his concerns given the American's recent parsimonious nature when it comes to spending.

Villa chief executive Paul Faulkner says Lerner is as "dedicated as ever" to see the club succeed, yet players may be sold before replacements can be brought in.

Harry Redknapp, on the other hand, has been backed to the hilt by his chairman Daniel Levy and has a squad to rival any in the top flight. He may fight claims of being a wheeler dealer, but his crafty last-gasp capture of Rafael van der Vaart at the end of the August transfer window has so far proven to be the signing of the season.

Villa felt the full force of the Dutch dynamo when his brace gave Spurs a 2-1 victory in the reverse fixture in October. That win kept up the Londoners' recent hoodoo over their Midlands rivals and also maintained Redknapp's ability to nick three points against the Villans - he hasn't lost a league game against them now for over four-and-a-half years.



• Villa have only won two of their last 12 matches against Tottenham.

• But Spurs have managed just two league wins in 18 attempts at Villa Park in the Premier League.

• Harry Redknapp is unbeaten in nine league matches against Aston Villa since his Portsmouth side lost 1-0 at Villa Park in March 2006.

• The Villans have picked up maximum points in just one of their Boxing Day games since 1999. Spurs are unbeaten on 26 December since 2003.

• This is the 152nd meeting between the sides. Tottenham have won 61 matches, Aston Villa 55 and there have been 35 draws.

Have your say on this match

Aston Villa

• Villa's 2-1 victory over West Brom in their last match was only their second league win in 11 attempts (W2, D4, L5).

• They have lost all five matches in which they conceded the opening goal.

• Ashley Young, Stewart Downing and Marc Albrighton have all either scored or assisted a total of seven league goals this season.


• They have only won one game outside London this season in all competitions (v Stoke).

• Tottenham have thrown away eight points from winning positions this season, having drawn against West Brom, Sunderland, Birmingham and Chelsea. But they have recouped 16 points from losing positions, which is more than any other top-flight side.

• Spurs have scored 52% of their goals with their left foot, a higher proportion than any other team.

• Only Robbie Fowler (nine) has scored more Premier League goals on Boxing Day than Robbie Keane (eight).


Aston Villa

Downing: 6 goals (5 league); Heskey: 5 goals (2 league)


Bale & Pavyluchenko: 9 goals (5 league)


Referee: Martin Atkinson

Assistant referees: Patrick Keane & Peter Kirkup

Fourth official: Lee Mason


Aston Villa (W2-1 v West Brom, h): Friedel, Lichaj, Cuellar, Collins, Warnock, Albrighton (Herd 90), Hogg, Bannan (Reo-Coker 73), Downing, Ashley Young, Heskey (Delfouneso 83). Subs not used: Guzan, Dunne, Pires, Carew

Tottenham (D1-1 v Chelsea, h): Gomes, Hutton, Dawson, Bassong, Assou-Ekotto, Lennon, Palacios (Sandro 89), Modric, Bale, Pavlyuchenko (Keane 78), Defoe (Crouch 60). Subs not used: Cudicini, Bentley, Giovani, Corluka

Source: BBC Sport

Source: BBC Sport