Thursday, February 20, 2020

Prediction: Aston Villa vs Leicester City

Tom Dunstan in Free Soccer Predictions 28 Jan 2020

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Verdict: Leicester City win

Best Odds: 7/10

Bookmaker: Bet365

With a spot in the final of this year’s EFL Cup still hanging in the balance, Leicester will make the trip to Villa Park on Tuesday night.

Aston Villa

Starting with the hosts, showing some much-needed resolve and coming from behind in the most dramatic of fashion to snatch a 2-1 win off of Watford last week, the mood around Villa Park could be on the rise. Grabbing an injury-time winner against the Hornets in a fixture billed as a real relegation six-pointer, Dean Smith’s men have managed to find a route out of the bottom-three and now find themselves holding a two-point buffer. While the former Brentford boss might find his side still enduring some glaring issues at the back, the Villans have found a spark in the final third, largely down to attacking talisman, Jack Grealish. With two Premier League strikes in his last four top-flight outings, the Villa skipper has played a vital part in a side that have scored in nine consecutive home Premier League games for the first time since March 2008.

Team News

Aston Villa boss Dean Smith is expected to give new signing Mbwana Samatta a first start.

The 27-year-old Tanzania international completed a £10m move from Genk last week and will strengthen Villa’s attacking options after Brazil striker Wesley suffered knee ligament damage.

Leicester City

As for the visitors, while Leicester may have shown some mild cause for concern entering the New Year, Brendan Rodgers’ men have bounced back in some style. Along with booking their spot in the fifth round of this year’s FA Cup with a 1-0 win over Championship high-flyers Brentford over the weekend, the Foxes really caught the eye with their thumping 4-1 win over West Ham last week. Still sat in pole position to secure a Champions League return for fans around the King Power, one man to potentially keep an eye out for on Tuesday night could be former Manchester City striker, Kelechi Iheanacho. Bagging the winner away at Brentford on Saturday lunchtime, the 23-year-old has found the net in each of his last three EFL Cup matches on the bounce this season and could lead the line with Jamie Vardy likely to settle for a place on the bench after picking up a gluteal injury against West Ham last week.

Team News

Brendan Rodgers has confirmed Jamie Vardy will be in Leicester’s squad for Tuesday’s trip to Villa Park, although the 33-year-old will likely settle for a place on the bench.

Wilfred Ndidi, who suffered a knee injury in training in early January, is fit to start but Nampalys Mendy and Wes Morgan will not be available.

Key Factors to Consider

  • When the two sides faced off at the King Power in the first-leg they played out a 1-1 draw.
  • However, when Leicester made the trip to the Villa Park on Premier League duties last month, the Foxes picked up a 4-1 win.
  • Striker Kelechi Iheanacho has scored in all three of his EFL Cup appearances this season.
  • Villa have scored in their last nine consecutive Premier League matches on home soil, their best run since March 2008.
  • Each of Villa’s last six matches at home have seen both teams find the net.

Conclusion

While Villa may have managed to snatch the most dramatic of victories against fellow scrappers Watford last week, Tuesday could prove to be a tough test against a resurging Leicester side. Bouncing back to their best after putting four past West Ham, there is no doubt that Brendan Rodgers’ men should still be boosted by their most recent trip to the Midlands. Picking up a 4-1 win when they made the trip to Villa Park last month, we’re backing the Foxes to come out on top in midweek.

Verdict: Leicester City win

Best Odds: 7/10

Bookmaker: Bet365

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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