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Aston Villa v Tottenham

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Ireland: Beat the flu bug

Ireland: Beat the flu bug

Aston Villa will be looking to bounce back from the heavy defeat at Chelsea when they host Tottenham in Premier League action on Boxing Day.

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Villa boss Paul Lambert described his side's performance at Stamford Bridge as "unacceptable" after they were thrashed 8-0 by the Blues.

The Villans were unbeaten in six games in all competitions before the weekend hammering; they now sit three points above the relegation zone.

Ron Vlaar, Gabriel Agbonlahor and Charles N'Zogbia are all in a race against time to be fit to face Spurs. The trio missed Sunday's clash through injury.

However, Stephen Ireland could return to the side - the midfielder started on the bench against Chelsea, having recovered from the flu.

Meanwhile, the north Londoners will look to get back in the top four after they dropped points in a 0-0 draw at home to Stoke last time out.

Clint Dempsey is a doubt after he missed the draw against the Potters with a groin problem, while Benoit Assou-Ekotto could make his return after a lengthy spell on the sidelines.

Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas could also hand Scott Parker his first start of the season after the midfielder came off the bench in the previous two games following his return from injury.

A positive for Villa-Boas is that his team have not lost at Villa Park since 2008. However, they have only won one of their last four games on the road in the league this season.

Posted: 24/12/12 12:42

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