Aston Villa v Spurs: Updates, team news and we all know what has to happen today

Before Spurs came to Villa Park in the League Cup, I wrote a blog post about them. It was about how I used to joke about them but not any more and sure enough they came and spanked us.

But then they got spanked by West Ham recently and if we win today, we go above them. I didn't write that post too early, I like what Spurs have done and Daniel Levy knows this is the best chance they're going to get to finish in the top four and he's gone all in and planned for it.

But let me write that bit above again you might have read over; if we beat Spurs, we go above them. That there is all the incentive the players should need today because that there will show everyone what we're about this season.

And I know I harp on about this next bit maybe a little too much, but the last three months of last season were excellent for us and we know the manager can get the players playing that way again, so if it starts to happen earlier this season than it did last, it would be confirmation that next season, the season might not be over so soon.

Last season, after eight games, we had five points. Last season was not a good season for us, but we knew before it even started that we were not going to win anything. We just had hope that we'd see something and we all knew it was another period of change.

This season, we already have double the points we had after seven games and we've had a bloody tough start to the season. Tougher even than Manchester United, but you've not heard Lambert bleating about it.

And when you consider we've got ten points, which was only six behind top of the table (after seven games), it isn't so bad. My point is, if we win today against Spurs, we'll have people talking about us in the right way. So maybe. we're not actually doing that bad.

And maybe, if we're not doing that badly, we can get something today. Nobody thought we'd get anything against Manchester City (me included) but we did, we were cheated out of a point at Chelsea and we're the only side this season to beat Arsenal. Maybe, just maybe we can get something today.

And they know what they've got to do

Football isn't a difficult game. You've got pundits that have played the game at the highest level and they talk about it in a way that suggests that unless you have, you're never really going to understand it, but the most successful managers recently never played at the highest level and they did okay.

And this is why I know what we've got to do today and why I know Paul Lambert knows what we've got to do today and why most of you know. We've got to pressure Spurs high up the pitch, we've got to make them give the ball away and we've got to keep it. The team that pressures the most today will win.

What I'm saying is, the team that wants it more and the team that plays the game in the right way will win. There is no point in putting pressure on Spurs and then when we get the ball we hit it long.

When we don't have it, we've got to do everything we can to get it back and when we've got it, we've got to be sharper and quicker than Spurs. I know it's easy to write and a lot tougher to actually do and when you look at the Spurs side and the quality they have, you know it's going to be tough, but we've done it before. And if we do it early enough and show them that we mean business today, we could just rattle them.

Updates, team news and links

I know I'm getting overly optimistic with what I've written above, but we have the players. The team that goes out to play today is going to be young and full of energy. They can run for 95 minutes and they have the desire.

And we all know that anything is possible and we're a lot closer to Spurs than Spurs fans think as things stand at the moment. But hell, it's going to be tough, but nobody ever said it was going to be easy.

So on that note, I'm going to go get something to eat and I'll be back later and we'll have team news an hour before kick off and updates from you and me throughout the match. And I've got a feeling that there might be a link or two below later on in the day to some interesting stories.

The players

Starting for us today we have Guzan, Bacuna, Vlaar, Clark, El Ahmadi, Westwood, Luna, Delph, Weimann, Gabby and Kozak. On the bench, we've got Steer, Baker, Herd, Bennett, Bowery, Tonev and Sylla.

Or that was what I thought. The bench is actually Steer, Helenius, Sylla, Benteke, Bowery, Tonev and Lowton. As corrected by the people at the club.