Following Boxing’s Days resumption of Premier League football, Tottenham Hotspur is back in action again on New Year’s Day, welcoming Aston Villa.
Despite enjoying a six-week break from domestic football, Antonio Conte’s side picked up exactly where we left off, shipping two goals to Brentford, having now conceded first in our last nine games – a worrying statistic.
A trip to Brentford is never easy, but it’s not the result that is as frustrating for Spurs fans as it’s delivered.
In the first half, Spurs registered an xG of just 0.16, failing to get into the game and, in truth, looked like a side hungover from an unusually placed World Cup.
However, as fans are begging to grow accustomed, a strong second-half performance saw Tottenham rescue a point from the Community Stadium as goals from returning World Cup stars Harry Kane and Pierre-Emile Hoijbjerg spared blushes from Eric Dier.
For visitors Aston Villa, their league campaign resumed with a disappointing home defeat to Liverpool. However, boss Unai Emery had plenty to be pleased about, with his side, in truth, unlucky not to at least take a point off the Reds.
Moreover, with World Cup and Golden Glove winner Emmi Martinez expected to be available for Sunday’s trip to North London, the squad will undoubtedly be boosted by the return of one of their most influential players.
But Spurs will welcome back our own World Cup winner, with Cristian Romero expected to be named in the side in what is a much-needed return following our defensive disaster class at Brentford.
Club captain Hugo Lloris is also in line to take his place back between the sticks, however, Rodrigo Bentancur, one of this season’s standout performers, is still expected to be absent.
With a tricky run ahead, including trips to Crystal Palace, Fulham, and Manchester City, and hosting Arsenal and City again, Monday’s game against Villa looks the most winnable fixture in the next month of league games.
Conte will know the importance of three points ahead of this run, and hopefully, Tottenham can rectify last weekend’s errors and claim all three points for a strong start to 2023.