Aston Villa's struggle to avoid relegation continues and they'll be looking for a way out when they take on an in-form Wolves side at the Villa Park on Saturday, 27 June 2020.
Wolves won 2-1 when both sides met earlier in the Premier League campaign (in November), with Ruben Neves and Raul Jimenez scoring in either half, while Aston Villa's response was too late as Trezeguet scored in stoppage-time.
However, the Villans have won their last two home matches against their Midlands rivals, including a 2-1 victory in the League Cup in October 2019. Furthermore, Aston Villa have lost just one of their last 14 home games against Wolves in all competitions.
Aston Villa Betting Preview
The Villans came from behind late on to claim a point at Newcastle on Wednesday, but Dean Smith's men will no doubt see the mentioned draw as two lost rather than a point won with games quickly running out to secure survival.
Aston Villa find themselves in the relegation zone following a disappointing run before the break (losing four in a row) and are now winless in seven Premier League games, losing five of them. Their last triumph was a 2-1 home win over fellow strugglers Watford on 21 January, and Dean Smith's side must drastically improve their form, though their schedule doesn't seem to be particularly favorable.
Tactical changes are not unlikely as Dean Smith will have to find the right approach in an attempt to neutralize Wolves' attacking threat in wide areas, with a switch to a back three/five definitely a possibility.
On the injury front, right-back Frederic Guilbert and midfielder Danny Drinkwater could return to the matchday squad but are unlikely to start. However, first-choice goalkeeper Tom Heaton remains sidelined, as well as the likes of Bjorn Engels and Wesley.
Ezri Konsa started at right-back last time out but could be replaced by experienced Ahmed Elmohamady, who scored against Newcastle, while Conor Hourihane also made an impact and could start at the expense of John McGinn, who started three games in quick succession after a long period on the sidelines.
Jack Grealish (7 goals and 6 assists) remains the pivotal figure for Aston Villa but their reliance on the 24-years-old skipper makes them really predictable to the opposition.
Wolves Betting Preview
Since a surprising 2-1 defeat at Watford on New Year's Day, Wolves have lost just once in the following 10 Premier League matches and will be keen to win three consecutive league games for the first time this season.
Remarkably, Wolves have conceded just two goals in their last seven Premier League matches since the 2-1 defeat to Liverpool, and they both were in the 3-2 win at Tottenham Hotspur, meaning that Wolves have kept six clean sheets in the process.
Although Wolves have been ranked sixth for awhile, they've worked hard throughout the season and are just two points behind fourth-placed Chelsea (before their match against Manchester City on Thursday), level on points with fifth-placed Manchester United.
Nuno Espírito Santo has a clean bill of health for another week and it's yet to be seen whether he plans some changes to the squad that beat Bournemouth in midweek, or he'll stick with the same starting squad.
We saw another brilliant combination between Adama Traore and Raul Jimenez, with the latter scoring his 15th Premier League goal of the season, while Traore already has 9 assists and 4 goals to his Premier League tally.
Adama Traore was surprisingly left on the bench against West Ham but he came on the pitch in the second half and had an instant impact on the game. In fact, the double substitution (Pedro Neto for Diogo Jota and Adama Traore for Leander Dendoncker) made by Nuno in the 64th minute was crucial for the final outcome.
Diogo Jota was in superb form prior to the break but he apparently struggles since, so Pedro Neto could be an option if Nuno wants to refresh his attacking line. The 20-years-old winger scored for the 2-0 win at West Ham United and will hope to get more playing time.
Possible Starting Lineups of Aston Villa and Wolves
Aston Villa: Orjan Nyland – Ahmed Elmohamady, Kortney Hause, Tyrone Mings, Matt Targett – Conor Hourihane, Douglas Luiz, Marvelous Nakamba – Anwar El Ghazi, Mbwana Samatta, Jack Grealish. (4-3-3)
Wolves: Rui Patricio – Willy Boly, Romain Saiss, Conor Coady – Matt Doherty, Joao Moutinho, Ruben Neves, Jonny Otto – Adama Traore, Raul Jimenez, Diogo Jota. (3-4-3)
Spooky Express Betting Prediction
We expect another challenging evening for Aston Villa, but given the importance of each next game, the Villans need to finally win a game. Even though another draw would take Aston Villa out of the relegation zone, it won't be the most desired result as Dean Smith's men will face Liverpool and Manchester United in the next two games, and this can be particularly demoralizing, especially if their opponents gain more points at the same time.
Wolves are -119 favorites to beat their Midlands rivals in Birmingham but Aston Villa shouldn't be underestimated, not when the situation is clearly “do or die” and they are usually doing fine in their home matches against the Wolves.
Both sides have scored in the two meetings earlier this season and we expect another one on Saturday. Moreover, both teams have scored in each of their last three matches at the Villa Park.