Is having another game just a couple of days after being thumped 8-0 a good or bad thing for Aston Villa?
Paul Lambert’s young side have been picking up plenty of plaudits over recent weeks but few will have been impressed with their second half implosion against a Chelsea team talented enough not to be afforded the luxury of the park.
By the time the Villans were put out of the misery of a criminally inept showing, they darted down the tunnel looking mightily relieved to get off the pitch. Although I’m not quite sure I’d fancy retreating as quickly having noticed the steam emitting from Lambert’s ears.
Anyhow, the nuances of the Christmas calendar mean they’ll be at it again less than 72 hours after Ramires slammed an eighth goal past the helpless Brad Guzan – and surely that isn’t enough time to heal many of the war wounds suffered during a dispiriting defeat.
The party line coming from Villa will be that the best way to get over their drubbing is by getting one over someone else, but I’m not sure that somebody else will be Tottenham, who visit Villa Park on Boxing Day.
The positives Villa have accumulated over the past month or so have been totally eradicated following the Chelsea mauling and I reckon they’ll be licking further wounds courtesy of Spurs.
Andre Villas-Boas and his boys would also have watched the horror show from home and a trip to a side who have been torn a new orifice is just the sort of fixture they’d want after playing a Stoke side with all the offensive intentions of a group of choir singers.
Tony Pulis’s horribly obdurate Stoke were horribly obdurate enough to see off Defoe, Bale, Adebayor and Lennon for an hour and a half, but I have serious misgiving as to whether Villa will be able to do likewise which is why bwin’s 3Way football betting market have the visitors as 19/20 favourites for the win with Villa at 27/10 and the draw 5/2.
Spurs themselves have been in finer fettle having picked up just four points from nine and winning one of their last seven away games, yet that away record has it’s mitigations – trips to Manchester City, Arsenal, Everton and a Europa League dead rubber against Lazio – and I reckon the attack which was blunted against Stoke will be too sharp for a Villa defence brutally exposed by Chelsea.
I certainly think Spurs can notch at least twice at 9/10 and I’d also be tempted to have a look at them scoring in both halves at 19/10.
Another disappointing aspect of Villa’s show on Sunday was their listlessness up the other end with only Christian Benteke’s world record-breaking offside attempt getting many column inches in the paper.
Villa are 2/5 to score and if they do that then Spurs with over 2.5 goals comes into play at 2/1 and the multiple of a Spurs 1-2, 1-3 or 1-4 win is exceptionally well priced at 15/4.