O'Leary keen to vanquish ghosts

Last updated : 20 January 2006 By Tomas Moore

Then match was pretty much a dead runner for Villa but Saturday’s game will be important for both teams. Spurs saw their hopes of claiming a Champions League place checked by Harry Kewell’s solitary goal against Liverpool last week and will be keen to get their campaign back on track. David O’Leary’s side, meanwhile will be looking to show more bite and determination than they did against West Ham last weekend as they look to ease their relegation fears.

Villa’s sole goalscorer in the corresponding fixture last year, Gareth Barry, will return to the side after serving a suspension, but both Kevin Phillips and recently departed Eirik Bakke are out. Spurs manager Martin Jol has a selection dilemma of his own, with Mido and Nourredine Naybet on international duty, so Jermaine Defoe could join Robbie Keane in attack. Right-back Paul Stalteri is suspended so Stephen Kelly will be given an early opportunity to impress new Republic Of Ireland manager – and former Villa Park favourite - Steve Staunton.