Aston Villa boss Unai Emery has informed Tottenham that qualifying for the Champions League is much harder than it was earlier than.
Villa host Spurs on Saturday with the 2 sides nonetheless within the hunt for European soccer subsequent season, however with hopes of claiming a top-four Premier League place all however over for each.
Tottenham – Champions League finalists in 2019 who reached the spherical of 16 this season – are sixth, six factors behind fourth-placed Manchester United having performed a recreation extra.
Eighth-placed Villa’s late bid to interrupt into the highest 4 was ended by successive 1-0 away defeats to United and Wolves during the last fortnight.
“Their expectation in the beginning was to be in the top four,” ex-Arsenal boss Emery mentioned of his former North London neighbours.
“It’s now more difficult than it was five to 10 years ago. There are now seven teams trying to be in the top four.
“Maybe Aston Villa now as well. It’s more difficult.”
Tottenham’s seek for a primary trophy since League Cup success in 2008 has seen them flip to Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte since Mauricio Pochettino’s departure in November 2019.
Neither Mourinho nor Conte, each perennial winners, might sprinkle their stardust on Spurs and caretaker boss Ryan Mason now has the duty of attempting to safe European soccer subsequent season.
Mason’s three matches in cost thus far have produced a win, a draw and a defeat, with the most recent recreation being a 1-0 dwelling victory over Crystal Palace.
Emery mentioned: “Tottenham have had some problems in the last month but they have very good players.
“The last match they played against Palace they kept good balance tactically and they have very powerful players in the transition, being strong defensively.
“They have very good players who can make different tactical decisions.
“The last matches against them at home here, (Villa) have struggled and it’s now a challenge to get a good performance at home.
“We have to believe in our players, in our tactical way we are progressing. That is the match on Saturday.
“To play a great match, spirit and playing and trying to get at them. They have a three-goal difference with us but our mind is to be very competitive and to get better.”
Villa quartet Boubacar Kamara, Leon Bailey, Matty Cash and Philippe Coutinho are all obtainable.
“It’s the first time in the last month we have everybody ready to be in the squad for Saturday,” Emery mentioned.
“Only Jed Steer is out but Cash, Kamara, Bailey, Coutinho – in the last match they were in the squad but not ready 100 per cent to play.
“Some players are still not ready to play 90 minutes, but they’re ready to be in the squad and ready to play.”