Tottenham’s first Monday night game of the season sees the visit of a stingy Aston Villa.
The visiting team have one of the meanest defences in the league, only Liverpool, Newcastle and the two Manchesters having conceded fewer. However, Tottenham are the third most in-form and the fifth highest-scoring team in the league so supporters may be in for quite a defence vs. attack game.
In terms of Premier League match-ups, Villa have the edge, winning 13 games to Tottenham’s 11, alongside 14 draws. They are fairly dominant at home as well, winning nine and drawing seven in the joint most played Premier League fixture, both teams having played every season in the Premiership since its 1992 inception.
However, Spurs do have the recent upper hand, doing the double over the Villains last season thanks for four goals in two games from this season’s high scorer Rafael Van Der Vaart. The double has been completed twice in Premier league history, by Spurs in 2010/11 and 2002/03 and by Villa in 1994/95 and 1995/96.
The 38 games have produced some dramatic and high-scoring results. The best example of this is the 4-4 draw between the sides on Tottenham’s 125th anniversary. On that day Spurs scored twice in the final 10 minutes to claim a draw after going down by three goals after an hour. Rarely has a game defined the Tottenham way in such clarity. Other momentous results include Tottenham’s 5-1 win at White Hart Lane in 2004/05, their 3-2 win in 1997/98 thanks to a brace from Les Ferdinand and Villa’s 4-3 win in 1994/95 after Dean Saunders’s 90th minute winner.
There is an average of 2.4 goals scored per game between these sides, with Villa marginally ahead on 47 goals to Tottenham’s 44, partly thanks to the fact that the Lilywhites didn’t manage to claim a win over their Midlands rivals until October 1996.
Spurs fans need to keep the faith if Villa go ahead early. In games between the pair, Villa have scored 21 goals to Tottenham’s 14 in the first half. However, Spurs traditionally end games the stronger, scoring 30 second half goals to Aston Villa’s 26. So stick around!
And finally, it seems that a brace of draws between might be the best result for one of the two teams. In three of the four seasons in which the two teams drew both games, one team finished the season in their highest ever position. In 1992/93, Aston Villa finished in second place after two 0-0 draws with the Lilywhites. Tottenham, meanwhile, finished agonisingly close to a Champions League spot in 2005/06 after sharing the spoils twice with the Villains, but they finally made it in 2009/10 after a 1-1 draw at Villa Park was followed up by a 0-0 bore draw at the Lane.
By Jamie Frier
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