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Tottenham Hotspur face Aston Villa in their final Premier League fixture this Sunday
9:00am Saturday 10th May 2014 in Sport
Spurs bring the curtain down on their Premier League campaign on Sunday when they host Aston Villa.
Both sides go into the game having endured disappointing seasons and both managers have found themselves under increasing pressure as the season has worn on.
Villa are just three places and five points above the relegation zone, but know they cannot be dragged into the mire on the final day.
Spurs know that owing to Everton's vastly-superior goal difference, they will be unable to overhaul the Toffees in fifth.
However, Manchester United in seventh could leapfrog Tim Sherwood's side if they beat Southampton and Spurs lose.
With just four points collected from their last eight games (one win and one draw), Lambert's side perhaps owe their Premier League status more to the ineptitude of those sides below them than their own ability, in a season which has seen them fail to kick on from last season's 15th-place finish.
With 38 points from 37 games, Villa trail last season's final points total by just three points, meaning they could finish with the same number of points and in the same position as 12 months ago with a win.
Lambert has been hindered in his recruitment drive by the high wages of several senior players, whom he has only been able to loan out since succeeding Alex McLeish two summers ago.
The likes of Shay Given, Alan Hutton, Charles N'Zogbia and Darren Bent are all well-paid products of the previous management regime, who Lambert has marginalised without being able to move on.
With owner Randy Lerner's deafening silence regarding his ongoing commitment to the club going forward casting a shadow over Villa Park and the suspension of two of Lambert's coaches - Ian Culverhouse and Gary Karsa - it has been an instantly-forgettable season.
All that whilst the former Norwich City boss attempts to bed in a number of youngsters signed in this new age of austerity following the lavish days of Martin O'Neill.
Villa have a staggeringly long injury list, with Christian Benteke (Achilles), Libor Kozák (broken leg) Gary Gardner (ankle) and N'Zogbia (calf) all definitely missing.
Danish striker Nicklas Helenius (hip) is very doubtful and Joe Bennett (ankle) is also a doubt.
Gabby Agbonlahor (knee), Marc Albrighton (groin) and Jores Okore (knee) could all return.
Tottenham are set to be without Andros Townsend (ankle), Mousa Dembele (ankle), Kyle Walker (groin) and Erik Lamela (back) are out sidelined.
Jan Vertonghen (ankle) and Etienne Capoue (ankle) could return, though.
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