Tottenham Hotspur - Aston Villa Preview: Tough test for basement battlers Villa
Tottenham Hotspur vs Aston Villa Preview: Tough test for basement battlers Villa

Aston Villa travel to White Hart Lane on Monday night, desperate to avoid losing a seventh consecutive league game, when they meet Tottenham Hotspur. 

Going down south without a manager, bottom of the table, and to meet an in-form Spurs side doesn't look like an enjoyable task, but a positive result could go a long way to turning around Villa's season. 

However, a loss in the capital would make things even worse for Villa, and potentially put off certain names from taking over the vacant managers job. 

The vacant job came about when Tim Sherwood was sacked following the home defeat to Swansea City last week, as the outspoken boss' eight month tenure came to an end. 

Life after Sherwood didn't get off to a great start either, with interim boss Kevin MacDonald unable to prevent Villa from being knocked out of the Capital One Cup, as they lost 2-1 to Southampton on Wednesday evening. 

Mauricio Pochettino's team have already been mentioned as being on a hot streak, and haven't been defeated in the league since the opening day. 

That nine game run has pushed them up to a healthy six place, with the highlight surely being a storming 4-1 win against Manchester City. Although that came close to being topped last week, as they hammered Bournemouth 5-1 at Dean Court, with Harry Kane netting a hat-trick. 

Team news:

Micah Richards and Joleon Lescott, two defenders who have played for the majority of this season, are both doubts for the game after picking up knocks. 

Apart from the possibility of them missing out, Gary Gardner is the only confirmed absentee, with Villa having welcomed back a few key players in recent weeks.

Jores Okore came back from a long term knee injury to sit on the bench agianst Southampton, and he'll he hoping to get some minutes this time around. 

Spurs have a few more concerns than their visitors, namely in midfield. Nacer Chadli and Heung Min-Son are both doubtful with ankle knocks, whilst Nabil Bentaleb remains out of action. 

Defender Federico Fazio has a hamstring injury that makes him unavailable, whilst winger Alex Pritchard won't return until the new year. 

Last time they met:

In one of the most memorable games of Sherwood's Villa tenure, the Midlands side defeated Spurs by a goal to nil at White Hart Lane, thanks to a marvellous header from Christian Benteke

It was a huge win for Sherwood, defeating his old club at their ground, and moving Villa a comfortable six points above the relegation zone.

They were good money for their victory too, and could have doubled their lead as Gabriel Agbonlahor hit the post, chasing on to a flick on from the dominant Benteke. 

The only blemish on the day was Carlos Sanchez getting a red card late on in the game, and the B6 side will be hoping for a repeat performance come Monday. 

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