Friday, March 5, 2021

Prediction: Burnley vs Aston Villa

Verdict: Under 2.5 goals

Best Odds: 10/11

Bookmaker: Bet365

Two sides who are desperate to start the New Year better than they ended the previous, Burnley will welcome Aston Villa to Turf Moor on New Year’s Day.

Burnley

Starting with the hosts, putting in another flat display and watching Manchester United leave Turf Moor with a deserved 2-0 victory over the weekend, Burnley once again find themselves enduring a worrying patch. Despite picking up back-to-back wins in the middle of December, Sean Dyche’s side have lost five of their last seven Premier League appearances and the Clarets have continued to show some glaring issues on home soil. Losing three of their last four matchups in Lancashire, a run that stems back to the 9th of November, there is no doubt that Dyche will also have a growing headache regarding his side’s new-found issues in the final third. With leading marksman Chris Wood scoring just one goal in his last seven outings, the New Year’s Day hosts have scored just three goals in almost 650 minutes of Premier League action. Desperately looking for a bounce, the Burnley camp should be boosted by what is a stellar person record against Villa while on home soil. Burnley are unbeaten in 14 competitive games against Wednesday’s guests at Turf Moor since a 2-0 FA Cup defeat in March 1959.

Team News

Burnley hope to welcome back Aaron Lennon and Ben Gibson after illness and injury respectively.

Matej Vydra could feature following the birth of his first child, while Johann Berg Gudmundsson is pushing for his first start in three months.

Aston Villa

As for the visitors, putting in what was a woeful display away at fellow scrappers Watford over the weekend, Aston Villa suddenly find themselves in the midst of a crisis. Despite spending over £100million following their Premier League return, they slumped to a 3-0 hammering against the 10-man Hornets and are firmly at the heart of a relegation scrap. Sat one-point adrift of safety and the pressure really starting to mount on Head Coach Dean Smith, Villa have lost five of their last six top-flight appearances and have a growing reputation for their issues outside of the Midlands. Recording just a single victory since the end of November, the former Brentford boss has seen his side collect just one win and four points from 10 games away from Villa Park, the worst away record of any Premier League outfit. Along with summer signing Wesley failing to find the net in his last 12 outings, Wednesday’s guests have begun to show some real issues at the back. Villa have shipped two or more goals in six of their last seven appearances and no top-tier side have conceded more second-half goals this season.

Team News

Aston Villa left-back Matt Targett is ruled out with a hamstring injury, so Neil Taylor is likely to deputise.

Tyrone Mings and Keinan Davis are building up fitness following thigh injuries and might be involved.

Key Factors to Consider

  • When the two sides met back in September they played out a 2-2 draw.
  • Aston Villa have recorded just one Premier League victory on the road this season and no side holds a worse away record.
  • Burnley have lost three of their last four matches at Turf Moor.
  • However, the Clarets are unbeaten in 14 competitive games against Wednesday’s guests at Turf Moor since a 2-0 FA Cup defeat in March 1959.
  • Burnley have scored just three goals in their last seven Premier League appearances.

Conclusion

On paper, Wednesday’s New Year contest has all the makings of what could be a cagey encounter. Along with Burnley struggling at home and Villa holding the worst away record in the Premier League, the two sides have continued to show some signs of a struggle in the final third. With the Clarets bagging just three strikes in almost 650 minutes of action and Villa failing to find the net in back-to-back matches on the road, we’re backing a low-scoring encounter at Turf Moor in midweek.

Verdict: Under 2.5 goals

Best Odds: 10/11

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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