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Predicted XI: Tottenham vs Aston Villa

Tottenham come into New Year’s day with a tricky encounter against Unai Emery’s rejuvenated Aston Villa side.

Spurs will be hoping for a great deal more fortune as they kick off 2023 knowing a win will take them back into the Premier League’s top four.

In order to achieve such a feat, however, they will need to be better than they ended the previous year, with Antonio Conte’s men seemingly intent on coming from behind to seal victories.

Indeed, the Londoners have now fallen behind in nine consecutive games across all competitions, a record they will need to put behind them in order to mount a serious challenge in the second half of the campaign.

Fortunately, they will be boosted ahead of their encounter with the Villans. With players set to return to the squad, here is how we at Football FanCast anticipate the Spurs XI to look like:

Spurs predicted XI (5-2-3): Lloris; Doherty, Romero, Dier, Lenglet, Perisic; Skipp, Hojbjerg; Kulusevksi, Son, Kane.

We are tipping the Tottenham boss to make three alterations to the team that drew with Brentford on Boxing Day.

The first change sees Hugo Lloris reinstated to the line-up following Fraser Forster’s Premier League debut for the Lilywhites over the festive period.

The French stopper missed that game as a result of an extended rest period following his nation’s World Cup final defeat to fellow Spurs teammate Cuti Romero.

As it happens, the Argentine defender is also set to return with his arrival on the scene a huge boost for a Tottenham team who are conceding on a regular basis.

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The €50m (£44m) centre-back, who has been dubbed a “Rolls-Royce” by Sky Sports’ Adam Smithy, is likely to replace Japhet Tanganga who hardly covered himself in glory against the Bees.

He was labelled a “construction worker” by journalist Rory Robinson with the defender having been run “ragged” by Ivan Toney in the words of Football.London reporter Alasdair Gold.

The final change comes in the middle of the park where Yves Bissouma – another of the underperformers against Brentford – comes out of the team in favour of Oliver Skipp who will sit alongside Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg in the absence of Rodrigo Bentancur who is out through injury.

Richarlison is still unfit for selection meaning a dangerous front three of Dejan Kulusiveski, Heung-min Son and Harry Kane will presumably take to the field.