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Tottenham v Villa match preview: Lambert looks to write new subplot

Tottenham v Villa pictures: Players train ahead of Spurs clash Tottenham v Villa media watch: Bent in focus ahead of Spurs
Tottenham v Villa match preview: Lambert looks to write new subplot

By Dan Harrison

It's a match with a million subplots.

Brad Guzan versus his long-time goalkeeping mentor Brad Friedel.

Darren Bent - who wore a Tottenham shirt between 2007 and 2009 - returns to his old stomping ground.

Magic memories will be evoked for Kyle Walker and Marc Albrighton too.

Walker emerged as one of the Barclays Premier League's most promising full-backs during a loan spell with Villa, while Albrighton scored his first top-flight goal at White Hart Lane.

As for Tottenham's fortress, who was last visiting manager to leave the historic north London venue with three points?

You guessed it - Paul Lambert.

Throw Guzan's USA team-mate Clint Dempsey - a player reportedly the subject of deadline day interest from Villa - into the mix and headline writers across the land will be rubbing their hands together.

But Villa boss Lambert hopes the positive feeling in the claret and blue camp will help his young side write their own spectacular script on Sunday.

"We have to rise to it," the manager said.

"There is no point in me sending them out there otherwise.

"The lads have to be confident themselves that they can compete against them.

"I won't send them out there with any fear.

"The good thing about it is there is a really good feeling about the club at the moment.

"That's important. Some of the football we are playing is very good at the moment.

"You will get ups and downs in everything but at the minute I'm happy with what the lads are doing."

The feel-good factor Lambert describes has been evident since the Capital One Cup success at Manchester City 10 days ago.

It was seen as a positive marker laid down by the new-look Villa side under Lambert's stewardship.

But a few days after Villa's Etihad ecstasy, Spurs took a signature scalp of their own in the Theatre of Dreams.

If the Man City triumph was viewed as a significant step for Lambert's 'young and hungry Villa', new Tottenham Andres Villas-Boas will be hoping his team's 3-2 victory at Manchester United has a similar knock-on effect.

"There's not many teams who go to Old Trafford and win that's for sure," said Lambert.

"It's a massive result for them. In the last few games Spurs have been going really great.

"They are a top side. I thought they were a fabulous side last year as well.

"Even this year, they've come up with some brilliant results.

"They will be confident. I know they had a game on Thursday night in Europe and maybe one or two might come back."

There is a strong consensus that the wide areas could be key in this weekend's battle.

In Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon, Tottenham arguably posses the top-flight's most formidable wing duo.

It will be an acid test for Premier League newcomers Matthew Lowton and Joe Bennett, who look set to occupy Villa's full-back spots once again.

But Lambert had no qualms about the duo handling the might of Man City or the intensity of derby day against West Brom.

Nor will he have any doubts in north London this Sunday.

As far as the Villa boss is concerned, his new recruits have earned the right to mix it with the big boys.

"They have earned the right to play there and it is not something they should be frightened by," the Scotsman added.

"They should not go there with any trepidation. If you're good enough, then I'll throw them in. I've always been like that.

"If you're good enough and you're young enough, go and show what you can do and they will thrive on it.

"If you are talking about Lowton and Bennett, they don't seem fazed at all.

"They have played a lot of games with Sheffield United and Middlesbrough so playing in front of big crowds will not faze them.

"You get great satisfaction from seeing them do well for themselves. The Norwich lads were exactly the same.

"There was the opportunity there for the young lads to drive it on and it's the same here.

"You wouldn't have thought they've just come from where they've come from, that's for sure."


Match: Tottenham Hotspur v Villa
Competition: Barclays Premier League
Venue: White Hart Lane
Date: Saturday October 7 - ko 3pm
Referee: Neil Swarbrick


Lambert Press Conference - click here
Pre-Match Show - click here


Paul Lambert has no fresh injury concerns going into the clash against Tottenham.

Full-back Enda Stevens has returned to training after being sidelined since the end of August with a hamstring problem.

Stephen Ireland [arm] and Richard Dunne [groin] are still out, while long-term absentee Gary Gardner [cruciate ligament] is the only other casualty.

Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas is expected to recall midfielder Sandro and centre-back William Gallas for the Villa clash.

Emmanuel Adebayor has also been declared fit after recovering from a groin injury.  


Tickets are still available for Sunday's clash, priced at £37 to 41 [adults], £21 to 24 [O65s] and £19 to £22 [U16s].

Call 0800 6120970, visit Villa Village or New Street or book online - click here.


Villa will be wearing their home kit of lime claret and blues shirts, white shorts and blue socks.


Tottenham 2-0 Villa
Monday November 21, 2011
Adebayor [14, 40]


Arrow BulletEmmanuel Adebayor has scored six goals in eight top-flight stars against Villa.

Arrow Bullet Villa have won four times in 20 Premier League visits to White Hart Lane.

Arrow Bullet No outfield player has played more Premier League minutes in 2012 than Kyle Walker [2,285] going into this round of fixtures.

Arrow Bullet Paul Lambert was the last visiting manager to leave White Hart Lane with three points when his Norwich side won 2-1 there in April.

By @AVFCOfficial 6th October 2012
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