The inaugural winter break is over for Tottenham and Aston Villa as they return to Premier League action at Villa Park on Sunday.
The fixture will see Villa's assistant coach John Terry reunited with his former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho, with the pair having enjoyed a hugely decorated time together at Stamford Bridge.
Spurs have experienced mixed fortunes under their new boss, but victory on Sunday would be their third Premier League win on the bounce and would lift them to within a point of the Champions League places.
Villa, meanwhile, find themselves in a battle to avoid the drop, with their defeat to fellow relegation rivals Bournemouth last time out leaving them hovering just a point above the bottom three.
Victory could lift Dean Smith's side as high as 15th, but Villa will have to beat a side they have tasted victory against only once in their last 18 meetings; a run that stretches back to March 2009.
Where to Watch on TV
|When Is Kick Off?||Sunday 16 February|
|What Time Is Kick Off?||14:00 GMT|
|Where Is It Being Played?||Villa Park|
|TV Channel / Live Stream?||Sky Sports Main Event|
Aston Villa are still missing a number of key players through injury, with John McGinn, Keinan Davis and Jed Steer all still sidelined.
Danny Drinkwater missed Villa's recent outing at Bournemouth with a calf strain but is in contention to return, while Erzi Konsa has returned to training after hobbling off at half time at the Vitality Stadium with a muscle issue.
Ben Davies looks set to return to the Tottenham squad following three months out with an ankle injury. Giovani Lo Celso was absent from their FA Cup victory over Southampton with a thigh problem but has returned to training, and Erik Lamela will be further assessed after also missing that match.
However, Moussa Sissoko and Harry Kane are still long term absentees for Spurs with their respective knee and hamstring injuries, while Juan Foyth will also be missing from Sunday's game.
|Aston Villa||Reina; Konsa, Engels, Mings; Guilbert, Drinkwater, Nakamba, Targett; Grealish, El Ghazi, Samatta|
|Tottenham||Lloris; Aurier, Alderweireld, Sanchez, Tanganga; Winks, Lo Celso; Moura, Dele, Bergwijn; Son|
Head to Head Record
Sunday's fixture is a proper traditional English top flight match. The two sides have met 164 times in total, with Spurs emerging victorious on 73 occasions to Villa's 56, with the remaining 35 matches finishing all square.
Spurs have quite the bragging rights over Aston Villa of late. They have won 10 of their last 11 against the Villans, and have only lost once to them since September 2008.
The pair last met on the opening day of the season, with Spurs requiring a debut goal from Tanguy Ndombele and a late brace from Harry Kane to secure a 3-1 win.
Following their 6-1 drubbing at the hands of Manchester City, Villa appeared to have turned a corner. They beat Nigel Pearson's rejuvenated Watford, and secured their place in the League Cup final thanks to victory over Leicester.
However, Villa slipped to what could prove to be a costly defeat against fellow strugglers Bournemouth last time out.
Spurs booked their place in the FA Cup fifth round with a comeback win over Southampton in their most recent outing, and completed a smash and grab to take all three points against 10-man Manchester City in their last Premier League fixture.
The north London outfit are currently unbeaten in six, and are on the hunt for their first hat-trick of successive Premier League wins of the Mourinho era.
Here's how the pair have fared in their last five.
|Bournemouth 2-1 Aston Villa (01/02)||Tottenham 3-2 Southampton (05/02)|
|Aston Villa 2-1 Leicester (28/01)||Tottenham 2-0 Manchester City (02/02)|
|Aston Villa 2-1 Watford (21/01)||Southampton 1-1 Tottenham (25/01)|
|Brighton 1-1 Aston Villa (18/01)||Tottenham 2-1 Norwich (22/01)|
|Aston Villa 1-6 Manchester City (12/01)||Watford 0-0 Tottenham (18/01)|
Although not yet the finished product, there are glimpses to suggest Spurs are moving in the right direction under Jose Mourinho. If they are to challenge for the top four, this is a game they have to be winning.
Villa are not going to roll over and let Mourinho's side have it all their own way. However, they are yet to take points off a top six side this season and cannot continue to rely so heavily on the brilliance of Jack Grealish.
Their nightmare against City aside, Villa do not tend to suffer humblings, while Mourinho sides are not famed for their emphatic victories, therefore a narrow Spurs win is the likely outcome on Sunday.
Score Prediction: Aston Villa 1-2 Tottenham