Last Updated: 26/12/12 7:29pm
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FULL-TIME: A 22 minute second half hat-trick from Gareth Bale helped Tottenham to a comfortable 4-0 victory against Aston Villa in the Midlands. The north Londoners move back up to fourth in the Premier League table while Villa have a goal difference of minus 21, but remain in 16th position.
We're into three added minutes at Villa Park, which is almost empty, apart from the noisy Spurs fans housed in the Doug Ellis stand.
SUBSTITUTION: After his hat-trick goal, Gareth Bale was replaced by Andros Townsend and needless to say, he was given a standing ovation.
You Spurs fans must be a happy bunch after this second half blitz! Especially after dominating much of the play in the opening 45 minutes.
Villa has kept three clean sheets in their last three home games, but they've conceded 12 goals in just two matches now.
Second career hat-trick for Bale and his 9th goal of the season. What a superb team effort too! Kyle Walker finds Gylfi Sigurdsson with a delicious pass and he picks out the Welshman who makes no mistake from close-range, firing the ball into the roof of the net.
Christian Benteke climbs high to meet the free-kick, but he fails to get enough power on the ball to trouble Hugo Lloris.
Two defeats in a row for Villa now which will worry Paul Lambert because they have a real 'six-pointer' against Wigan to come next weekend.
Things are looking bad for Villa now as the north London side look to add to their goal tally here, which is rather worrying for the home fans.
The Welshman is at it again as he bags his 8th Premier League goal of the season and such a simple one too! Aaron Lennon picks him out inside the area and he's allowed too much time to look up and slot his left-foot shot into the bottom corner.
Spurs have had 55% possession to Villa's 45% in this half. Although the hosts have played much better, it's the visitors who have taken their chances.
As things stand, Spurs will go level on points with West Brom and Everton as the race for fourth spot hots up.
YELLOW CARD: Fabian Delph will now miss the weekend clash against Wigan after sliding in on Gareth Bale after the corner was cleared.
Thirteen attempts by Spurs with eight on target as AVB looks to his substitutes with the points seemingly in the bag.
Bale is looking to add to his tally from a free-kick which Spurs win, but the ball rebounds off the wall.
Just as Villa come close to restoring parity, Spurs hit them with the ultimate sucker punch and it's Bale, who is the main instigator. He turns away from his marker before calmly taking the ball around Brad Guzan and knocking it into an empty net.
Christian Benteke fails to picks out Brett Holman at the back post, which allows the visitors the break away in numbers.
Super goal by Spurs and well deserved too! Gareth Bale goes back to Kyle Naughton, who picks out Defoe with an exquisite sliderule pass wand the England International makes no mistake as he slides the ball under Brad Guzan for his 14th goal of the season in all competitions and his 10th in the Premier League.
FINE SAVE!! Stephen Ireland does well before picking out Christian Benteke, but his sidefooter is palmed away brilliantly by the flying Hugo Lloris. Luckily for Spurs, the Belgian was offside yet again!
Dean Wilson þTweets: "Why can't Abe stay in his position? He's the only aerial threat we have up front but he's hardly there, except during set pieces."
Now they win another corner, but Aaron Lennon delivery whips off Emmanuel Adebayor's head and out on the far side of the field.
That's probably a fair point George, especially on the evidence of today. Spurs do win a throw though after Ciaran Clark opts to knock the ball out.
George Rumsey gets in touch to say: "Hi Raz!! We MUST sign a leading front man to complement Jermain Defoe in the transfer window!! We're just not ruthless enough."
GOOD RECOVERY! Chris Herd gets back to make a fine challenge on Jermain Defoe, who looked to be in on goal.
Ireland is brought crashing down to the ground by Moussa Dembele, which has lifted the home supporters who seem delighted by this start.
Better start from the hosts in this second half as Matthew Lowton drives his left-foot effort wide of the far post.
SUBSTITUTION: There was a change at the break with Marc Albrighton replacing Ashley Westwood for Villa.
If you'd like to air your views during the second half, email Raz...that's me! at firstname.lastname@example.org or Tweet me: @RazMirza and I'll publish as many as I can.
Let's have a look at some half-time Price Boosts with our friends SkyBet. Tottenham to win 3-0 is a 18/1 shot while Gareth Bale to score next is 7/1. Meanwhile, Christian Benteke to score next and Villa to win 1-0 is a 25/1 shout. My pre-match prediction of a 2-2 draw was priced at 12/1 before kick-off, but if you think things might end up as they are, then it's priced at 11/4. Head now to SkyBet to place your bets.
Angus Muir says: "Spurs are utterly dominating Villa, we just need to get one in the back of the net! I say bring on Sigurdsson at half time to lift up spirits. End result will be 3-1 Spurs..COYS!!!"
HALF-TIME: Brad Guzan has been in fine form to deny Spurs what would be a deserved lead. If Villa keep a clean sheet today, they will equal their longest ever run of four shutouts in a row on home soil. (April 1993 & October 2001). Gareth Bale, Emmanuel Adebayor and Gareth Bale have all been denied by the United States International.
We're into three added minutes at Villa Park, so how will the hosts get on in the new formation? Well, they win their first corner of the match!
SUBSTITUTION: Stephen Ireland replaces the injured Nathan Baker, which is a huge blow for Villa, who switch formations to a conventional 4-4-2.
We're underway again and although Fabian Delph shows some neat skill, his pass fails to set Christian Benteke away because the big Belgian is caught offside.
GOOD SAVE! Moussa Dembele steps away from a challenge before finding Gareth Bale who smacks a stunner from long-range which Guzan parries.
Now Karim El Ahmadi fails to control the ball and Spurs break, but Joe Bennett slides in to make an important challenge.
Nathan Baker throws his body at Aaron Lennon's drive from just inside the area as the corner count mounts up.
NICE BREAK! Villa's best moment in the match but Christian Benteke fails to reach Matthew Lowton's cross.
GOOD BLOCK! Nathan Baker surges out to make an important block just as Emmanuel Adebayor gets his left-foot shot away.
The flag is up against Emmanuel Adebayor and Villa quickly move the ball forward until Joe Bennett fails to control an overhit pass.
Emmanuel Adebayor, who has scored six goals in eight Premier League starts against Aston Villa including four in his last three, gets above Nathan Baker, but his header is held by Brad Guzan this time.
Ed Chalmers emails in to say: "Why oh why with the class of Gareth Bale on the pitch is Kyle Walker on the set pieces he hasn't put one decent cross in all season! I don't think much of our 4-4-2 formation, drop Adebayor bring on Sigudsson .. Spurs to win 3-0!!"
The Londoners fall asleep at the throw, but Matthew Lowton fails to reach the deep cross from the left.
Mark Clattenburg waves away appeals after what seemed a stick-on foul by Karim El Ahmadi on Kyle Walker.
Spurs have had 75% possession and had six shots to Villa's none this half. Complete domination by the away side, but it remains goalless!
ALMOST IN!! Jermain Defoe is set free by Emmanuel Adebayor, but he's eventually challenged by a combination of Chris Herd and Brad Guzan just as he looked like he was going to pull the trigger.
LUCKY!! Ashley Westwood gives the ball away to Jermain Defoe, who finds Aaron Lennon and his cross is sliced away by Chris Herd.
Tottenham have suffered only two defeats in their last 18 Premier League games in the month of December (W10 D6 L2) and they've only lost one of their last six and that came at Everton.
Aaron Lennon catches his man and Villa are awarded a free-kick, which gets a loud cheer from the Holte End.
Kyle Walker's inswinger is headed away and now Karim El Ahmadi closes down his man in the middle of the park.
The former Leeds man is back on the field and Spurs are back on the ball as Gareth Bale wins yet another corner.
So you think it could be as bad as that for the boys in claret and blue then Nicky? Fabian Delph is caught by his own player in Nathan Baker and in need of some medical attention.
Nicky from Gloucester emails in to say: "Happy Christmas Raz, Just sat with lots of Christmas wind ready to watch spurs put 5 or 6 past villa! COME ON YOU SPURS."
Spurs have dominated possession - over 70% of it in these opening 12 minutes and Lambert looks a worried man on the touchline.
GREAT SAVE!! It's a one man show at the moment as Gareth Bale switches the ball onto his left-foot before attempting to whip his effort into the far corner, but Brad Guzan tips the shot over his crossbar.
Villa boss Paul Lambert is persisting with his wing-backs, despite that eight goal thrashing at Stamford Bridge. But, before that the home side were on a six-game unbeaten run in all competitions.
The man in white shirts and dark blue shorts come forward through Bale, but Matthew Lowton makes a good challenge this time.
Gareth Bale looks to lift the ball over the wall, but it bounces off a head and up and over the crossbar for another corner.
Spurs are dominating and Kyle Naughton's initial shot is blocked, Jermain Defoe is tripped on the edge of the box and in a central position.
The resuting corner comes off Matthew Lowton, but a goal kick is given which Gareth Bale is clearly annoyed by.
Clumsy defending from Villa allows Jermain Defoe to find his strike partner Emmanuel Adebayor and the visitors win a corner.
So, here we go then at a packed Villa Park. The home fans are in good spirits despite that hammering at the weekend.
Aston Villa are 13/5 to claim victory with our friends SkyBet, who make Tottenham Evens and draw is 5/2. Emmanuel Adebayor has scored six goals in eight Premier League starts against Aston Villa including four in his last three and he's a 9/1 shot to bag a brace this evening. A couple of Price Boosts and Scorecast Boosts for you here: Villa to win 2-1 is an interesting 12/1 while Spurs to win by the same scoreline is 8/1. Christian Benteke to score first and either Villa to win 1-0 or 2-1 is 25/1. Jermain Defoe to score first and the visitors to win 2-0 is priced at a huge 40/1. I'm going for a high scoring 2-2 draw, which is priced at 12/1. Head now to SkyBet to place your bets.
TOTTENHAM TEAM NEWS: Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas makes two alterations from his side's 0-0 draw with Stoke on Saturday, with William Gallas and Kyle Naughton coming in for Michael Dawson and Steven Caulker, who were both named among the substitutes.
VILLA TEAM NEWS: Paul Lambert makes three changes to his starting line-up. The adjustments from the 8-0 mauling Villa suffered at Chelsea three days ago sees Joe Bennett, Karim El Ahmadi and Fabian Delph replace benched duo Eric Lichaj and Barry Bannan and Andreas Weimann, who was missing from the squad.
ASTON VILLA: Guzan, Lowton, Herd, Clark, Baker, Bennett, Westwood, El Ahmadi, Delph, Holman, Benteke.
TOTTENHAM: Lloris, Walker, Gallas, Vertonghen, Naughton, Lennon, Dembele, Sandro, Bale, Defoe, Adebayor.
Villa boss Paul Lambert will assess the fitness of striker Gabby Agbonlahor, winger Charles N'Zogbia and captain Ron Vlaar. Agbonlahor (thigh) and Vlaar (calf) have missed three and six games respectively, while N'Zogbia suffered a knee injury in training ahead of Sunday's 8-0 mauling at Chelsea. Striker Darren Bent is again ruled out with a hamstring injury while centre-back Richard Dunne will undergo rehab work after a third groin operation. Tottenham forward Clint Dempsey is a doubt with a groin problem. Benoit Assou-Ekotto may make his long-awaited comeback from a knee injury while Scott Parker could also make his first start of the season after coming off the bench in the last two games following his recovery from an Achilles injury. Younes Kaboul is expected to return from his knee injury next month.
Hello one and all. I hope you've all just about recovered from yesterday's festivities. Aston Villa proved to be the Christmas turkeys after a real stuffing at the hands of Chelsea at Stamford Bridge which was simply a grrrrrEIGHT Sunday for the brilliant Blues. But Paul Lambert's young Lions will be hurting from the humiliation and ready to put things right today after previously being unbeaten in six games in all competitions. Meanwhile, Andre Villas-Boas will be targeting maximum points in this busy time of the year after watching his side secure just one win and three losses from their last four league trips. The Portuguese boss will demand three points at Villa Park today in the hope of climbing back in the top four, depending on other results of course. Stoke proved awkward opposition at White Hart Lane at the weekend and the north Londoners had to settle for a share of the spoils. Spurs have not lost at Villa Park since New Year's Day 2008 and beat the Midlanders 2-0 at White Hart Lane in October.
If you'd like to air your views before or during the match, email Raz...that's me! at email@example.com or Tweet me: @RazMirza and I'll publish as many as I can.