With just nine matches remaining, Aston Villa probably need to win six to have any hope of retaining their top-flight status. Having only won three Premier League matches all season, quite frankly that isn’t going to happen and relegation has long looked absolutely inevitable. It’s safe to say that this season there will be no Leicester City-like storming charge to safety from Aston Villa.
After a brief rally at the start of 2016, it soon became apparent that Villa simply weren’t good enough. Their last four matches suggest that the towel has been well and truly thrown into the ring, with all four of them being lost and 15 goals conceded in the process. It was the 6-0 drubbing at home to Liverpool (the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre) that really seems to have shattered what little self-belief Villa had left.
For Tottenham Hotspur this game is sandwiched between two heavyweight Europa League games against Germany’s Borussia Dortmund, yet this is the one of those three matches that carries the most importance. After taking just a point from local derbies against West Ham United and Arsenal, Tottenham really can’t afford to drop points here if they are to build pressure on Leicester City at the top of the table.
It’s difficult to see Villa being able to match Tottenham’s work-rate and youthful energy for 90-minutes as it is, but recent results really do suggest that confidence is nigh on non-existent among Remi Garde’s team.
It would be no surprise to see Tottenham not only win here, but also further boost what is already the best goal difference in the Premier League (and which might just prove to be a decisive factor come the season’s end). Unsurprisingly, Aston Villa possess the worst goal difference in the Premier League.
It’s also a match that sees the team with the fewest goals scored this season hosting the team with the best defensive record in the Premier League. Whatever way you look at it, it’s difficult to make any case for backing Villa.
The way to play this might be to take Tottenham at -1 on the Asian Handicap. If the Londoners win by a single goal margin you will have your stake returned, but any victory other than that will be a winning bet.