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Preview: Aston Villa vs. Tottenham Hotspur - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday's Premier League clash between Aston Villa and Tottenham Hotspur, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

The pressure is mounting on Jose Mourinho ahead of Sunday's Premier League trip to Aston Villa following Tottenham Hotspur's shock elimination from the Europa League.

Spurs suffered one of their worst results in their history by going down 3-2 on aggregate to Dinamo Zagreb on Thursday and need to quickly respond at Villa Park.

Mourinho's men are eighth in the Premier League, four points better off than ninth-placed Villa having played a game more than their next opponents.

Match preview

Dinamo Zagreb's Mislav Orsic celebrates scoring against Tottenham Hotspur in the Europa League on March 18, 2021© Reuters

Tottenham's 3-0 loss in Zagreb on Thursday, having led 2-0 after the opening 90 minutes of the tie, will mark one of the lowest points in the club's recent history.

It was a performance that captain Hugo Lloris labelled "a disgrace", and one in which left Mourinho questioning the professionalism of his players yet again.

Spurs would have fancied their chances of going all the way in the Europa League, but instead their campaign now comes down to next month's EFL Cup final with Manchester City.

A top-four finish in the Premier League is not entirely out of the question just yet, though they find themselves six points adrift of the Champions League spots.

If nothing else, Mourinho will be desperate for a response from his players on Sunday, a week on from going down 2-1 to Arsenal in another massive setback for the Portuguese.

That loss to Arsenal was their ninth in 28 Premier League games this term - equalling the most ever suffered by a Mourinho-managed side in a single campaign.

Aston Villa manager Dean Smith pictured on February 27, 2021© Reuters

That includes a run of four defeats in their last five away league games, which is as many as they had lost in their previous 20 on the road (W8 D8).

Villa will be looking to pile the pressure on Mourinho this weekend, knowing that a victory will keep alive their hopes of qualifying for European football next season.

The Villans have struggled for momentum in recent weeks, having won just one of their last six in the Premier League.

Dean Smith's men followed up a goalless draw against Wolverhampton Wanderers with a 1-1 draw at Newcastle United - Jamaal Lascelles rescuing the Magpies a 94th-minute point.

Villa now face three of the established top six in their next four games and risk seeing a season that promised so much fading into nothing more than a mid-table finish.

Aston Villa Premier League form:
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • D

Tottenham Hotspur Premier League form:
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • L

Tottenham Hotspur form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • L

Team News

Harry Kane in action for Spurs on March 14, 2021© Reuters

What made Tottenham's collapse in Zagreb all the more remarkable is that star man Harry Kane started the game and indeed played the full 120 minutes.

That would have taken it out of the striker and, with three England internationals on the horizon, Mourinho may well make a bold call to rest his star man at Villa Park.

Fellow attacker Son Heung-min will play no part because of an injury sustained against Arsenal last weekend, while Erik Lamela is suspended for his red card in the same game.

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Tanguy Ndombele were greatly missed against Dinamo and should both return in holding midfield on Sunday.

As for Villa, there is still a question mark over the fitness of playmaker Jack Grealish, who has now missed five matches but recently returned to training.

Bertrand Traore is another fitness doubt for the Villans, though Smith will give both players every chance of being fit for the visit of Spurs.

Fresh on the back of his England call-up, striker Ollie Watkins is certain to lead the line as he looks to build on a return of 10 goals in 27 league games this term.

Aston Villa possible starting lineup:
Martinez; Cash, Konsa, Mings, Targett; Luiz, Nakamba; Traore, McGinn, Trezeguet; Watkins

Tottenham Hotspur possible starting lineup:
Lloris; Doherty, Sanchez, Alderweireld, Reguilon; Hojbjerg, Ndombele; Bale, Lucas, Bergwijn; Vinicius

SM words green background

We say: Aston Villa 1-0 Tottenham Hotspur

Just when Tottenham had found some momentum with five wins in a row, they have suffered back-to-back losses against Arsenal and Dinamo Zagreb to derail their campaign.

Even accounting for that previous upturn in form, Mourinho's men have been poor on their travels and face a tough test on Sunday against a Villa side hot on their heels.

Villa have hardly been flying themselves of late, but we are backing them to further their opponents' misery by claiming a narrow win this weekend.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting a double chance bet on a draw or an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Draw/Away:data

Video prediction

Watch the Sports Mole Football Shorts prediction for this game below:

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Dinamo Zagreb's Mislav Orsic celebrates scoring against Tottenham Hotspur in the Europa League on March 18, 2021
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Lloris: Tottenham's Europa League exit "a disgrace"
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United StatesUnited States16171144
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Great BritainGreat Britain89926
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Saturday's key events

· After silvers in both the men's and women's events, Team GB will be fancied to get on the podium again in the mixed relay (11.30pm-1am)

· Touted as Michael Phelps's successor, Caeleb Dressel already has two gold medals from these Games and he will be going for a third in the men's 50m butterfly final (2.30am)
· It is Katie Ledecky vs. Ariarne Titmus III in the women's 800m freestyle final, with Ledecky entering as firm favourite (2.46am)
· Great Britain will be heavily fancied to add another gold medal to their swimming haul, having produced by far the fastest qualifying time for the mixed 4x100m medley relay final (3.43am)

· Dina Asher-Smith is one of three British women in the 100m semi-finals (3.01am-3.20am), and will hope to challenge for a medal in what is likely to be a star-studded final (1.50pm)
· The inaugural Olympic 4x400m mixed relay event concludes with Great Britain one of the eight finalists going for gold (1.35pm)

· Team GB's dreams of an unlikely gold are still alive in the women's event as they face France in their semi-final (3.30am). The winners will face either New Zealand or Fiji in the gold medal match later in the day (10am)

· Gold medals are up for grabs in the windsurfer - RS:X finals. Emma Wilson participates for Team GB in the women's final (6.33am), while Tom Squires is in action in the men's (7.33am)

· Following his shock semi-final defeat, ending his hopes of a Golden Slam in 2021, Novak Djokovic battles for bronze against Pablo Carreno Busta (7am)
· The women's singles event reaches its conclusion with the gold medal match between Belinda Bencic and Marketa Vondrousova

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