Tottenham v Aston Villa Tips: Spurs' struggles to continue

Aston Villa look capable of troubling struggling Spurs when the pair meet in the Premier League on Sunday, according to Andy Schooler...

They've been well beaten by Crystal Palace, Chelsea and Arsenal in recent weeks with new boss Nuno Espirito Santo already coming under scrutiny for a brand of football which was deemed dull long before his departure from Wolves.

Spurs struggling

A total of just 56 shots in six games is the lowest in the top flight so far this season and it's unlikely the home fans, who have long demanded football played 'the right way', are going to stand for that for too long.

Only two players have scored so far in the league - Son Heung-min, who has three, while their only other goal came via Dele Alli from the penalty spot.

Harry Kane will surely be adding his name to that list sooner or later and he raised spirits on Thursday night with a hat-trick as a substitute in the 5-1 Europa Conference League win over Mura.

1280 Harry Kane Europa Conference League.jpg

Giovani Lo Celso and Oliver Skipp both pressed their case for inclusion with their displays in that midweek outing and after a disastrous midfield effort against Arsenal last weekend, one, if not both, can be expected to play.

At the back, Cristian Romero also impressed against Mura, but I remain wary of reading too much into a comfortable win obtained against a mid-table Slovenian side.

Villa buzzing after United win

A fresh Villa team should provide a must sterner test - they won at Manchester United last weekend, a result which came hot on the heels of a 3-0 victory over Everton.

Axel Tuanzebe is available again having missed last week's game against his parent club but boss Dean Smith will be tempted to stick with the same XI given how well they played at Old Trafford - they were dangerous going forward and certainly caused more problems than many expected.

Their goal did come from a set-piece - five of nine this season have - and Smith will want his side to be more creative from open play.

But in Ollie Watkins and Danny Ings - the latter has six goals in his last six games against Spurs - they have strikers capable of improving that goal output and a Tottenham defence which has shipped three goals in each of those three league defeats may be in for a busy day.

Visitors make appeal

Only Leeds have conceded more shots than Spurs so far and, at the prices, it's Villa who look the more attractive proposition here.

They are 3.7 to repeat last season's win on this ground with the draw around the same price.

However, the safety net of the draw-no-bet market is the approach I'm going to to take.

Villa are at 2.7 here and that looks more than fair.

Comeback potential for in-play punters

In terms of goals, my initial thought was that under 2.5 goals (a 1.9 chance) made the most sense given Spurs' lack of shots and Villa's current over-reliance on set-plays.

Yet it's easy to see both metrics changing considerably going forward given the attacking talent both sides possess.

It's worth mentioning a potential in-play trading angle at this stage.

Seven of Villa's nine goals have come in the second half of games, while Spurs have conceded six of nine after the break.

With Villa having also conceded three times in the opening 15 minutes, there's scope for the visitors to fight back in this one.

The Sportsbook has Villa to win from behind at 14/1 in their pre-match markets.

Shoot for profit with Ramsey

However, it's to the shot markets I turn for my second bet.

They've proved fruitful in recent previews and the man to trust on this occasion is Villa's Jacob Ramsey.

The 20-year-old midfielder has been a shining light for Villa so far.

He's managed two shots in two of his four starts this season - against Chelsea and Everton - while in the other two games he's had one on each occasion.

With Spurs giving up shots aplenty, partly due to a lack of protection in the midfield, backing Ramsey at 11/8 for 2+ shots here looks worthwhile.

Opta fact

Tottenham have lost their last three Premier League games by an aggregate score of 9-1. They last lost four in a row in the competition in November 2004 (a run of six).

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