Tottenham Hotspur v Aston Villa
Barclays Premier League
White Hart LaneMonday,
November 21st: 20:00
Tottenham are sweating on the fitness of in-form attacking midfielder Rafael Van Der Vaart after the Dutchman picked up a hamstring knock while representing his country.
Tom Huddlestone and Michael Dawson remain long term absentees, however Vedran Corluka is available for selection having overcome an ankle injury.
Gabriel Agbonlahor pulled out of action with England during the international break, but should be fit to start for Villa having returned to training, while captain Stiliyan Petrov should also be fit, however Jermain Jenas is ineligible to play against his parent club.
Jordan looking for Spurs victory
Tottenham first team coach Joe Jordan is hopeful that Spurs can continue their recent rich vein of form when they take on Aston Villa on Monday night.
The North London side suffered heavy defeats in their first two games of the season against Manchester City and Manchester United, but have since picked up 22 of the 24 points on offer to move them up the table and put them in the mix for a UEFA Champions League spot.
Spurs are unbeaten in their last eight games in the Barclays Premier League, winning seven and drawing one, a run that has moved them to level on points with 3rd place Chelsea alongside Liverpool and Arsenal.
Manager Harry Redknapp is ready to return to the dugout for the first time since undergoing minor heart surgery, and Jordan believes their turnaround in fortunes is down to some shrewd signings made during the summer transfer window such as Scott Parker and Emmanuel Adebayor.
"We've done very well after the first couple of matches," Jordan said. "One of the reasons for that is that we brought one or two players in and once we'd settled down there was a better balance to the side. That's had a bearing on why we've been consistent. We've played some tricky games away from home."
Spurs have won plaudits not only for their attractive brand of football this season but also for grinding out results – not a trait typically associated with the White Hart Lane-based outfit – and they needed to be at their defensive best to claim maximum points against Fulham before the international break. Jordan believes another similarly resilient effort may be required tonight.
"Fulham was a tough place to go where we've struggled in the past, but we came away with three points two weeks ago," he continued. "That's an indication that we have made progress. Let's hope it continues.
"It is a tough game for us, they have a lot of pace up front. They are very quick on the counter attack so we will have to be very conscious of that. We will certainly want to win it and we hope to have possession of the ball.
"But at the same time in trying to get goals, we have to make sure we don't leave ourselves open at the back because they are a major danger there.
"They are a big club, they haven't lost many games this season so it will be tough for us," he concluded.