Tottenham Hotspur Women return to action against Aston Villa Women at home after a covid outbreak caused a two week layoff. You can watch the game on Sunday, April 3rd at 9:00 AM ET/2:00 PM UK on the FA player for free.
After such a long layoff, it’s hard to know what to expect. We do know that Villa will be easier opposition that the City side we faced two weeks ago. Villa are winless in four, but safe enough from relegation in 10th place. They’ve scored 12 goals in the league from an expected 15.7—only last place Birmingham City have scored fewer.
Despite their underwhelming attacking numbers, Villa always bring a tough game. Spurs came from behind to beat them in December, and more recently, they clawed to a 1-1 draw against Reading, and nearly snatched a point off of a title-seeking Chelsea side.
“There are no easy games in this league,” said Coach Rehanne Skinner in a match preview. “They’ve got a bit of a different style to some of the other teams in the league, so we expect it to be a little bit more direct, we expect a little pace and runs in behind.”
Villa rely heavily on Remi Allen and Alisha Lehmann (who Sports Mole reported Alisha Lehmann may be a fitness concern) for those line-breaking passes and runs in behind. If our defenders can contain them, and we execute our typical organized press all over the field, we’ll have snuffed out a good deal of threat.
In attack, watch for Ashleigh Neville, Rachel Williams, Ria Percival and Eveliina Summanen if they’re healthy. I also watched Chelsea’s talented winger Guro Reiten absolutely torch Aston Villa the left wing last month, so I’d love to see what Jessica Naz can find there. But this is a hard one to predict—we may struggle due to players returning from Covid, or from the disruption of a long layoff.
“I think the challenge for us going into this weekend is a little bit more about the lack of game time of late, and the disruption within the squad,” Rehanne Skinner said. “We could be a little bit rusty and that’s just inevitable. The squad that goes to the game will be 100% ready and give it everything they’ve got. I’m confident that if we get the game plan right, and if we all apply ourselves in the right way, that we’ll be able to get points out of the game.”
I agree, and I really hope we can. After so much disruption, it’s crucial that we head into the lengthy international break with a strong performance and a win.