Sunday, March 7, 2021

Prediction: Aston Villa vs Leicester City

Verdict: Leicester City win

Best Odds: 23/20

Bookmaker: Unibet

In a battle between East and West Midlands this weekend, Leicester will make the trip to an empty Villa Park on Sunday afternoon.

Aston Villa

Starting with the hosts, after having to settle for a 0-0 stalemate away at Brighton last time out, Dean Smith will be hoping for a far more eye-catching display from his side this weekend. With many feeling that they were lucky to leave the Amex with a point to show for their troubles, Aston Villa should be glad to make a return to home soil on Sunday afternoon. Continuing to impress many across the Premier League this season after only just hanging onto their top-flight status over the summer, some in their camp are even dreaming of a genuine European finish this year. Managing to bounce back from that 3-1 defeat at the hands of West Ham when opening February, the former Brentford boss saw his side land an impressive 1-0 victory against Arsenal last time out on home soil. In fact, collecting nine points from their last four top-flight contests at Villa Park, they have lost just one of their previous five contests on their own patch.

Team News

Aston Villa full-back Matty Cash has a hamstring strain which will keep him out for at least three weeks.

Ahmed Elmohamady will most likely deputise in only his second league start of the season.

Leicester City

As for the visitors, also having to settle for their own 0-0 draw away at Slavia Praha while on Europa League duties in midweek, Brendan Rodgers’ side should be glad to make a return to Premier League action at Villa Park. Still sat in pole position to secure themselves a top-four finish this season, Leicester should also be boosted by that stunning turnaround victory on home soil last weekend. Shocking almost everyone and coming from 1-0 down, the former Celtic boss saw his squad eventually pick up a 3-1 romp against defending champions Liverpool. Opening up this weekend’s fixtures with just their goal difference stopping them from climbing to second in the table, the Foxes have lost just one of their last 15 matchups across all formats, a run that stems back to the middle of December. With leading marksman Jamie Vardy once again getting himself on the scoresheet last week, Rodgers has really seen his side bounce back from that 3-1 defeat against Leeds last month.

Team News

Timothy Castagne is fit for Leicester after a five-match absence with a hamstring problem. However, forward Ayoze Perez is sidelined with a knee injury.

Wes Morgan remains out, along with long-term absentees James Justin, Dennis Praet and Wesley Fofana.

Key Factors to Consider

  • When the two sides faced off in the reverse fixture back in October, Aston Villa snatched a last-gasp 1-0 win at the King Power.
  • However, Sunday’s guests have lost just one of their last 15 matchups across all formats, a run that stems back to the middle of December.
  • Aston Villa have failed to record more than 1.5 goals in each of their last four Premier League contests on the bounce.
  • Harvey Barnes has scored more Premier League goals (eight) than any other English midfielder this season.
  • Each of the last five straight meetings between Sunday’s opponents at Villa Park has finished with both teams finding the net.

Conclusion

While Aston Villa might have managed to snatch that dramatic late winner at the King Power back in October, we’re backing a much tougher afternoon for Sunday’s hosts. Having to settle for what was a flattering 0-0 draw away at Brighton last time out, there is no doubt that Leicester should be boosted by that stunning victory on home soil last week. Coming from 1-0 down and eventually grabbing a 3-1 romp against defending champions Liverpool, Brendan Rodgers’ side have lost just a single matchup across all competitions since way back on December 16th. Bouncing back from that defeat at the hands of Leeds last month and in pole position to secure a top-four finish, we’re backing Leicester to make it back-to-back wins this weekend.

Verdict: Leicester City win

Best Odds: 23/20

Bookmaker: Unibet

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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