Raphael Varane vies with Aston Villa’s Danny Ings
Danny Ings signed for Aston Villa in a surprise transfer over the summer and has enjoyed a steady start to his career in claret and blue.
With two goals and two assists, he has kept things ticking in this Villa squad and already been the deciding factor in games such as the 2-0 win at Newcastle.
He is yet to display the form of a lethal and ruthless finisher like he did in 2019/20 for Southampton, where he scored 22 goals. Ings is clearly an elite finisher at the very highest level, and the game against Tottenham could be where fans see 2019/20 Ings.
He has played Spurs 10 times in his career and in these games has scored six times and provided one assist. Six goals against a singular opponent is the joint most he has scored against any team, with Everton also conceding on six different occasions to the England international. Ings has managed to reach this figure in three less appearances than he has against Everton, indicating he is particularly dangerous when playing Spurs. His most recent effort against this opponent came in April this year, Southampton lost 2-1 but Ings opened the scoring with a guided header from a corner. Given Villa’s newfound threat from set pieces, and Spurs conceding the second most shots from these situations, this is a real possibility ahead of this weekend’s clash.
The game prior to this was the 5-2 defeat where Ings grabbed both goals on this occasion. The first being a perfectly controlled effort finished well and the second being a penalty. Villa are in fine form recently, but the strikers within the team haven’t been getting the rewards they possibly deserve. This could change this weekend.
With Ings frequently tormenting Spurs and Ollie Watkins scoring against them in his last visit to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, both strikers will seemingly be well up for this fixture. Spurs are currently low on confidence having lost their last three games and conceding three in all of them. All signs are pointing to the fact opportunities will present themselves for the Villa strikers.
The London side were reportedly keen to bring Ings in this summer, but to Villa’s benefit they were priced out of a move. They have only scored four goals this season so far and the investment for a player of Ings’ quality probably would’ve been wise to boost their attacking style of play.
It provides a real opportunity for Dean Smith to build some solid momentum going into the international break. Last season, when Villa were presented with the prospect of pushing on into European places they would often fall short in the games that followed, such as the 2-1 loss to Brighton at home.
If results fall their way, a win here could fire Villa amongst the European places and to do this in a period where many people feared the worst when looking at the fixtures that faced the team, would be a real statement of intent.