Tottenham v Aston Villa - preview
By Steve Luckings
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Caretaker boss David Pleat should have Anthony Gardner fit after the defender was forced to withdraw from the England squad for last weekend's international friendly against Denmark with a recurrence of a back injury.
Top scorer Frederic Kanoute is close to returning to training from an ankle injury but is unlikely to be considered for the clash against The Villans, while captain Jamie Redknapp is also still some way off a first team return.
The good news for Spurs is that Robbie Keane, Gary Doherty and Stephen Carr returned home from international duty injury-free, although Portuguese striker Helder Postiga has caught the headlines for apparently refusing a dope test after he faced the French Under-21 side and may be the subject of disciplinary action should Uefa decide to take action.
Villa boss David O'Leary is hoping for a double striker boost ahead of the clash, live on Sky Sports One, on Sunday.
Darius Vassell has shrugged off the knee injury that ruled him out of England's defeat to Denmark and Juan Pablo Angel returns fresh from his equaliser for Colombia against Argentina in their South American World Cup qualifier.
The Midlands outfit are only one point and one place off the bottom three and will be hoping Vassell can finally open his goal account against a Spurs side who may be carrying a headache from their cruel North London derby defeat to Arsenal.
O'Leary has to shuffle his midfield with Gavin McCann suspended for his sending off against Newcastle, with Thomas Hitzlesperger likely to deputise.