Antonio Conte’s Tottenham Hotspur side head into Saturday’s Premier League meeting against Aston Villa in an excellent run of form, having picked up 15 points from a possible 18 over their last six league outings.
Indeed, since the turn of the year, Spurs boast the second-best form in the top flight, with only Liverpool picking up more points than the 52-year-old’s outfit in 2022.
However, what has perhaps been most impressive about the Italian’s team in recent weeks is the dominance they have displayed in victory, scoring 22 goals over their last six Premier League fixtures, including a 4-0 win at Leeds United, a 5-0 victory over Everton and a 5-1 win over Newcastle United last time out.
This is something Conte will undoubtedly be hoping to continue at Villa Park this evening, and considering that Steven Gerrard’s outfit are currently on a run of three straight defeats in the league, the 52-year-old will be well aware that, as long as his side maintain their recent standards, they will be in with a fantastic chance of taking all three points back to north London.
With Tottenham receiving the pre-match boost of both Ryan Sessegnon and Sergio Reguilon being declared available for selection, the Italian will have a very welcome selection headache at both wing-back positions, something which should see Emerson Royal drop out of the starting XI.
The £62k-per-week defender enjoyed one of his better games in a Spurs shirt against Newcastle last time out, scoring his first goal for the club and turning in a decent defensive display. However, the quite incredible performance of Matt Doherty – who was deployed out of position at left wing-back – should have been enough to convince Conte that he is now Tottenham’s undisputed first choice on the right.
Indeed, over his 90 minutes on the pitch against the Magpies, the 30-year-old enjoyed 45 touches of the ball, completed 27 passes, found his man with both of his attempted long balls and completed one dribble. He also made one interception, one tackle and two clearances, not to mention putting Spurs 2-1 ahead with an exceptionally well-taken header at the back post.
These returns saw the Republic of Ireland international earn a SofaScore match rating of 7.6, ranking him as Tottenham’s third-best player last time out.
As such, with one of either Reguilon or Sessegnon likely to start on the left, it would appear very wise for Conte to move Doherty back to the right against Villa, as the Irishman is clearly a much better choice than the Brazilian who Alex McLeish claimed is “struggling” in England and Alan Hutton stated “isn’t the answer” for Spurs.