The Premier League Owl
Picking a Tottenham side to play Villa on Sunday

Tottenham and Andre Villas-Boas travel to Birmingham this weekend to play Aston Villa, and to hopefully put right what happened at White Hart Lane against West Ham.

There’s little value in trying to second-guess Villas-Boas’ selection, so let’s just call this a preferable line-up - with some justifications below:

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- It would be nice to see Lewis Holtby given a chance to start in the Premier League game, and he was fantastic against Villa in the League Cup a few weeks ago. Is he a better player than Christian Eriksen, no, but the Dane was very ineffective against West Ham, and is also coming off the back of two international games for his country - there’s an energy about Holtby that Spurs could probably do with this weekend, and he really isn’t lacking for creative intelligence. Just give him an opportunity.

- Paulinho has been away in Asia with his national team, and as such can’t be fresh enough to play again before the end of the week. Sandro was outstanding in this fixture on Boxing Day last year, and he physically intimidated and bullied Villa’s midfield - pairing him with Mousa Dembele makes a lot of sense, as there’s a nice balance to that combination and the Belgian’s form is very decent.

- Jermain Defoe doesn’t start, and he can have absolutely no argument with that. Defoe has to learn that scoring goals against bad Europa League teams doesn’t necessarily justify Premier League selection, and his display against West Ham was just not acceptable - there were ball-boys who affected that game more than he did.

- Younes Kaboul is not expected to be available until the end of the month at the earliest, so the centre-back combination will remain unchanged.

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arrow2 Responses

  1. Spurfect
    2 hrs, 6 mins ago

    Think this is a very reasoned line-up with one exception in my opinion.
    Lamela DEFINITELY needs a start soon, but away at Villa after being in South America (Playing 12.30a.m today our time) isn’t the right time to start. I’d have him on the bench to play his part and have Chadli starting on the left. Strong, pacey and full of confidence and positivity after Belgiums WC qualification.


    Walker Dawson Vertonghen Rose

    Sandro Dembele

    Townsend Holtby Chadli


    Subs: Friedel / Chiriches / Paulinho / Erikssen / Siggurdson / Lamela / Defoe

  2. Brad
    1 hr, 38 mins ago

    I love holtby and I do like that line up., can’t see holtby selected instead of eriksen and I can’t see lamela starting or on the left at the mo.. Maybe you will see that happen in the future but not on Sunday. Benteke is gonna cause us all sorts of problems at the back so sandro cutting off the supply is a must

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