After a busy day around the Premier League on Saturday, Aston Villa and Tottenham are set to have the spotlight all to themselves on Sunday. The clubs are separated by just three points in the table during the early stages of the campaign.
Villa hope star striker Christian Benteke will be ready to make a major impact after being sidelined with a hip injury. The Belgian international has scored four goals in five league appearances and is the focal point of the attack when healthy.
The biggest news of the week for Tottenham was an agreement with rising star Andros Townsend on a four-year contract extension. He's finally starting to turn all of that potential into success for Spurs on a regular basis.
Let's check out all the key viewing information for the clash, followed by a look at the top storyline and a match prediction.
Where: Villa Park in Birmingham, England
When: Sunday, Oct. 20 at 11 a.m. ET (4 p.m. BST)
Watch: NBC Sports Network and Sky Sports 1
Live Stream: NBC Sports Live Extra
Match Forecast (via Bloomberg Sports)
Tottenham: 49.4 percent
Aston Villa: 24.9 percent
Draw: 25.7 percent
Top Storyline: Can Tottenham bounce back following the international break?
Tottenham were rolling right along as the international break approached. Spurs had shown off a stretch of very good form, which included a 4-0 triumph over a weakened Aston Villa side. But right before the two-week club hiatus, they suffered a surprising 3-0 home loss to West Ham United.
Andre Villas-Boas' group, which had very few lapses before that point, played a poor second half, and West Ham took full advantage. Now, the focus shifts to putting that result behind them quickly and getting things back on track.
The biggest key against Villa will be finding the link between the midfield and whomever Villas-Boas chooses to lead the attack, be it Roberto Soldado or Jermain Defoe. Both strikes have displayed good form so far in the campaign.
Spurs were able to control possession in the loss to West Ham but struggled to create scoring chances. Turning that time on the ball into dangerous opportunities moving forward comes down to smart decisions in the midfield.
That's where the aforementioned Townsend comes into play, along with Christian Eriksen and Gylfi Sigurdsson, among others. They should hold an edge over Villa in the middle of the pitch and must take advantage of it.
The match presents a great chance for Tottenham to put that West Ham loss in the rearview mirror for good. But it will take a strong road effort.
Obviously, the type of impact Benteke is able to make, should he return to the squad, will be a major factor in how the match plays out. Villa are far more dangerous when he's on the field because opposing defenses must focus so much attention on slowing him down.
Tottenham must emphasize controlling the pace of play early, and from there they can start generating more chances in the final third. Brad Guzan has been in fine form for Villa in goal, so it's going to take quality opportunities for Spurs' attack to find its stride again.
All told, assuming Benteke is able to play at least a limited role, Villa should be able to earn a draw.
Aston Villa 1, Tottenham 1
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