An Aston Villa side struggling for consistency host West Brom on Sunday evening, with the Baggies still dreaming of the ‘Great Escape’.
Dean Smith’s side have lost their last two consecutive Premier League matches. Although those defeats came against Liverpool and Man City, they’ve still only managed one win in seven games.
West Brom have had slighter better fortune, having beaten Chelsea and Southampton in their last few games. Sam Allardyce’s side have given themselves a chance of surviving the drop.
If they are going to avoid relegation, a win against Villa is a must. The Baggies have found their shooting boots of late and could cause an upset.
While neither of these could be considered in the top 10 worst teams of all time, a loss for either could effectively end their season.
Read on for our thoughts on how the game could go…
Aston Villa v West Brom Predictions
Villa come into the game with a record that has seen them win just three times at Villa Park in 2021. They have an outside chance of qualifying for Europe next season, but in order to do so they must win this game.
The hosts have had a tough run of fixtures of late and they’ll see this as one that they realistically should win.
Despite losing their last couple of games, Smith’s men gave a good account of themselves on each occasion. The fact that they were able to score against both Liverpool and Manchester City will do their confidence no harm.
Villa striker Ollie Watkins is having a super season and has notched 12 goals so far in the Premier League. He’s notched in two of his last three games and comes into this in good form,
Goals had been seriously hard to come by for the Baggies until they shockingly beat Chelsea 5-2 in early April. They followed that up with a solid 3-0 over Southampton at the Hawthorns.
Allardyce’s men were brought down to earth on Thursday night, as they succumbed to a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Leicester. That was one of their games in hand and so a defeat at Villa would see them all but relegated to the Championship.
The pressure’s on for the visitors, who’s away record this season has seen them win just twice. Their lack of a regular goalscorer has been what’s seen them languishing at the foot of the table.
West Brom’s top scorer this season is Matheus Pereira. The Brazilian has netted 8 times so far and scored three in the wins over Chelsea and Southampton.
Pereira will be the main danger for the visitors, barring any last minute injury.
It looks set to be a tight game between these two sides. Poor home form against poor away form could easily result in a stalemate.
However, with so much more riding on the game, expect the Baggies to come out swinging. They’re likely to leave themselves open defensively, and Villa can take advantage.
Aston Villa v West Brom Head to Head
The last five meetings between these two sides has seen both secure two wins each, with the other ending in a draw.
Aston Villa won the most recent meeting 3-0 in December, with goals from El Ghazi and Bertrand Traore sealing the points.
At that time, Villa were looking like serious contenders for a top four place, but their form has tailed off massively in 2021.
The previous four meetings before that were all in the Championship, including the two legs of the 2018/19 play-off semi-finals. Aston Villa eventually progressed via penalties.
One thing that the head to head records tell us is that a scoreless game is unlikely. Only one of the previous 14 matchups between these two has seen the score end 0-0, so expect goals.
Aston Villa Team News
The home side are still without talismanic playmaker Jack Grealish. Villa’s form has taken a significant dip since he was ruled out of action back in February.
Grealish is joined by Morgan Sanson and Trezeguet in the treatment room. Matty Cash is suspended following his sending off against Manchester City.
Dean Smith has confirmed he has no plans to sign Ross Barkley on a permanent deal. He’s likely to be on the bench as Douglas Luiz and John McGinn partner in midfield.
Our Aston Villa v West Brom predictions expect Ollie Watkins to lead the line for the hosts on Sunday evening.
West Brom Team News
Defender Branislav Ivanovic is the only West Brom absentee due to injury. The 37 year old Serbian has only played a cameo role since Allardyce took over at the Hawthorns.
Friday’s 3-0 defeat to Leicester on Thursday may have Allardyce pondering some changes. However it’s likely he’ll stick with the same eleven that beat Southampton.
Kyle Bartley and Dara O’Shea are likely to partner in the heart of defence. Mbaye Diagne looks set to start up front again for the Baggies.
Aston Villa v West Brom Betting Tips
Despite Villa’s indifferent form, the traders have the home side priced as 79/100 favourites to win. This looks to be the safest of the Aston Villa v West Brom match bets.
Given West Brom’s awful away form, it’s no surprise to see them priced as 34/10 outsiders to win in 90 minutes.
The draw is priced at 11/4, for those who feel that the significance of this encounter may result in a cagey affair.
Looking at the position of the two teams, Villa really should be winning this. West Brom are literally fighting for their Premier League lives and are going to have to attack and go for the win.
That should give the home side plenty of space to counter attack and use Watkins’ pace in behind to take all three points.