Alas. With a lead in hand and a man advantage after Francis Coquelin's red card, everything seemed to be coming up Spurs last weekend in the North London Derby. But a shock Alexis Sanchez goal against the run of play took a needed three points away from Spurs and severely dented the team's chances of winning the league. Spurs now sit five points behind Leicester City with just nine matches left to play. The draw, and subsequent midweek destruction with a rotated side against Borussia Dortmund, seem to indicate that there are cracks in the Spurs' defense and the absence of Jan Vertonghen is being felt. Spurs have to bounce back quickly and get a win to stay in the title hunt as they go back on the road for their match on Sunday.
Spurs travel to the Villa Park to play Aston Villa team that sits in last place, nine points from safety. It's been an all around bad season for Villa, as the Villains boast the worst attack and defense in the league. Manager Remi Garde will try to get the best out of Jordan Ayew, Jordan Veretout, and Rudy Gestede in attack, while goalkeeper Brad Guzan will try to organize his veteran centerback combo of Micah Richards and Joleon Lescott ahead of him. Villa is coming off the back of four straight league losses, so the pressure will be on for Aston Villa to earn an essential point at home to start digging out of relegation
Can Spurs get an essential away win against the league's worst team? We shall see.
How to Watch
Date/time: Sunday, March 13, 2016, 5:00 p.m.. (UK), 12:00 p.m. ET (USA)
Venue: Villa Park, Birmingham, UK
Official: Anthony Taylor
TV: NBC Sports Network, Telemundo (USA), Not Televised (UK), TSN 1 (Canada), Fox Sports 1 (Australia), other listings at livesoccertv.com
Streaming: NBC Sports Live Extra (USA)
Radio: Audio streamed at tottenhamhotspur.com, also BBC Radio London and TalkSport
Repeat. It seems like Mauricio Pochettino is in a good spot to play his (nearly) first choice lineup today, as all players except for the long-injured Jan Vertonghen and Clinton N'Jie are available for selection. We are predicting that Spurs use the exact lineup they used a week ago in the North London Derby, especially after Tottenham largely rotated their players in the 3-0 loss to Borussia Dortmund in the midweek. However, it would not be a shocker to see Son Heung-Min or Ryan Mason start, but it seems likely that Pochettino will stick to his first choice squad.
As for the Prediction League, Matthew broke out ahead with a perfect prediction on the North London Derby, growing his lead. The rules remain the same in the Prediction League -- one point for a correct prediction and a bonus point for getting the score correct. Here are the current standings:
|Earl of Shoop
Dustin Menno: Spurs are coming off of disappointing results to great teams in Arsenal and Dortmund. Aston Villa is not a great team. In fact, they are an objectively terrible team. If we can’t crush them at Villa Park then we never did have a realistic shot at the title and this was all for naught. 4-0 Tottenham
Skipjack: 2-2 Draw. spurs why not
Ben Daniels: Remember that time Harry Redknapp subbed on Scott Parker when we needed to beat Aston Villa to qualify for the Champions League and obviously we didn't because Scott Parker? That's not gonna happen this time. 3-0 Spurs. Alan Hutton with the own goal hat trick.
55thVin: Spurs will fight through the slog and get a result. 2-0 Spurs
Luke Zimmerman: The f***s an Aston Villa? 3-0 Spurs. An inverse Dortmund if you will.
Earl of Shoop: TBD
Matt Pachniuk: If it was any other team, I'd worry. Outside of the very beginning of the season, this is the most adversary that Spurs have faced. I don't think it will be as clean as we'd like it to be, but I still think Spurs will put up three. 3-0 Spurs as we get back on track.
Jake Meador: 3-0 Spurs
GN Punk: Aston Villa are the cure for what ails us. They're on their way to the championship and Spurs are looking to take some frustration out. 3-0 Spurs
Brian Mechanick: I have lost some faith of late, and the absence of Jan Vertonghen is really, really starting to be felt. But luckily Aston Villa is nowhere near good enough to take advantage of Spurs' weaknesses. 2-0 Spurs
Ed F.: 21-0 Spurs. Historic annihilation of the hapless Villains that immediately relegates them two months early.
Bryan Ashlock: So, the last week or so has really sucked, but you know what would really suck? Losing to Villa. 1-0 Aston Villa.