THE new Premier League season continues on Saturday evening as Tottenham take on Aston Villa at the new White Hart Lane. Matthew Kirby (@M_Kirby95) delivers his betting analysis.
Tottenham v Aston Villa | Saturday 10th August 2019, 17:30 | Sky Sports
Champions League runners-up Tottenham start their 2019/20 campaign at home for the first time since 2010, as they host promoted Aston Villa.
Mauricio Pochettino has remained at the helm but he will have been frustrated by the failure of getting Paolo Dybala’s move over the line. Spurs did sign Tanguy Ndombele for £53 million and it was the usual late business with Giovani Lo Celso joining on loan from Real Betis, plus Ryan Sessegnon arriving from Fulham.
Importantly, one man who has stayed put (for now) is Christian Eriksen. Man United decided not to pursue a late move on Deadline Day, but the European window remains open, so there is still a chance he could leave north London, and that would be a hammer blow.
Villa Park will see plenty of new faces with 12 signings made in the second city. Tyrone Mings and Kortney Hause have seen their loan deals turn permanent, while Dean Smith has drafted in Tom Heaton, Ezri Konsa, Jota and Bjorn Engels to name just a few.
There have been comparisons to Fulham’s spending spree 12-months ago, however, Villa’s business does look smart, if a little expensive, so you are likely to see a strong campaign from Smith’s men.
Tottenham team selection
Kieran Trippier has left for Madrid and there was talk Danny Rose would follow him through the exit door, but for now, he remains. Juan Foyth is injured meaning Kyle Walker-Peters is the only recognised right-back at the club. At least for Pochettino, he has a choice of left-back options with Rose, Ben Davies and now Sessegnon in situ.
Then there’s the midfield question of which two Spurs select from Harry Winks, Moussa Sissoko and summer arrivals Ndombele or Lo Celso.
With an injury making Dele Alli’s participation doubtful, the rest of the XI picks itself with Eriksen, Lucas Moura and Harry Kane likely to start in attacking areas. Son Heung-min is suspended.
Villa lacking goals
Aston Villa’s end of season run was nothing short of remarkable. From the start of March, they won 10 consecutive games, which helped the Claret & Blue to claim a play-off spot.
A large part of Villa's success was loan striker Tammy Abraham. He bagged 25 goals, but remains at Chelsea due to their transfer ban, so where do the goals come from?
Jack Grealish will get his chance to flourish for his boyhood club. Six goals and six assists was last season’s return and he’ll be looking to better that despite the step up.
It’s a big ask of 22-year-old Wesley to lead the line and score goals following his move from Club Brugge. The Brazilian netted 32 goals in 107 appearances for the Belgian club and uses his pace to make clever runs off the shoulder of defenders, which if getting the right service could prove a useful asset.
The betting angles
The attacking quality Spurs possess should prove too strong for a returning Villa side full of fresh faces, who will continue to gel and adapt to their new teammates.
However, I’m not expecting Spurs to have it all their own way or run away with this game, so it gave me two potential angles, including a potential Asian Handicap bet on the visitors, but I’ve opted for the hosts to take the three points in a low-scoring affair. Tottenham to win and Under 3.5 Goals (23/20 Coral) is the call.
The cards markets also intrigued me, especially when Chris Kavanagh was appointed to the game on Monday. He took charge of three Spurs wins last season, and each of those games saw three cautions.
Kavanagh was also in the middle of Villa’s play-off semi-final second leg against West Brom that saw Chris Brunt dismissed, while Tyrone Mings had his name taken.
I’m not expecting this to be a physical game given Spurs averaged just 1.47 cautions per-game last season, and it was Kane and Rose who collected most of their yellows (five each). In contrast, John McGinn was the walking yellow card for Villa last term seeing 14 – only Jack Colback saw more.
They are the candidates for the cards, but with referee Kavanagh having a low make-up, as do Spurs, then initially a look at the visitors collecting Most Booking Points looked interesting.
However, at the same price, you can back the Villains to pick up 20+ booking points, something they did in 14 of 23 away games last season, and with new faces getting settled in, they could be a little rusty.