Aston Villa look to continue to build upon an up-turn in performances as they welcome Leicester City to Villa Park this evening.
Villa suffered their first defeat under Steven Gerrard on Wednesday night as they lost 2-1 to Manchester City but will take encouragement out of their efforts and particularly their second half display against the current Premier League champions.
The first three games under Gerrard have seen improvements in shape, possession and build up with more shots created and less shots allowed at keeper Emi Martinez which clearly shows the early progress of his tenure.
Leicester City come into the game in tenth place and three points ahead of Villa, having won just one of their last five Premier League games.
Brendan Rodgers has struggled to find a consistency this season which may be attributed to The Foxes exploits in the Europa League. This may prove a factor in today’s game too as Leicester have an important and tricky looking trip to Napoli midweek in which it will decide who goes through to the knockout rounds with three teams vying for the two qualification spots.
Home and away form shows Villa (home) and Leicester City (away) ninth in the respective tables with Villa picking up 10 points and goal difference of +2. Leicester City have picked up 9 points on the road with a goal difference of -2.
A win for Villa would mark a fantastic return of 9/12 points following five defeats in a row whereas as Leicester City could go as high as sixth with a win depending on other results.
Last season saw Aston Villa win the away fixture 1-0 with a last minute winner from loanee Ross Barkley. Leicester City would get their revenge at Villa Park with a 2-1 win courtesy of first half goals from James Maddison and Harvey Barnes before Bertrand Traore would pull one back for the Villans.
Aston Villa Team News
Villa will once again be without Egyptian winger Trezeguet who continues his recovery with upcoming games as part of the Under-23 side.
Bertrand Traore continues his rehabilitation to overcome a hamstring injury and Leon Bailey’s injury woes continue to hit as he has been ruled out until the New Year, again with a hamstring injury.
Forward Danny Ings should be available following another hamstring pull.
Possible starting line up:
Martinez, Targett, Mings, Konsa, Cash, Nakamba, Douglas Luiz, McGinn, Ramsey, Buendia, Watkins
Leicester City Team News
Youri Tielemans (calf) along with defender James Justin (knee) continue to build upon their recovery but this game may come too soon for them both.
Ricardo Pereira (hamstring) and Wesley Fofana (ankle) remain out for the time being.
There may be a few changes with the Napoli game and midfielder James Maddison took a slight knock against Southampton which may force Brendan Rodgers into weighing up the importance of the next two games.
Possible starting line up:
Schmeichel, Thomas, Soyuncu, Evans, Castagne, Soumare, Ndidi, Barnes, Maddison, Lookman, Vardy
Leicester have scored 22 goals this season with 15 coming from open play, 6 from set pieces and just a single goal attributed to a counter attack.
Defensively, they have conceded 25 goals with 13 from open play, 7 from set pieces, 3 penalties and a single goal from both a counter attack and an own goal.
They are perfectly balanced in attack with 38% of attacks coming from the left hand side, 38% from the right hand side and 24% from the middle of the park.
In regards to shots at goal, Leicester City have a fairly high amount of shots from outside the box with 38%. 54% have been inside the 18 yard box and just 9% within the 6 yard box.
Leicester City have scored 37% of their goals between the 31st to 50th minute.
In contrast, they have conceded 32% of their goals between the 11th and 30th minute.
Jamie Vardy is the top scorer with 9 goals from 14 Premier League games and he has contributed to 45% of the total goals scored by Leicester City.
One to watch:
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Jamie Vardy is today’s player to watch due to his tenacity and his danger in front of goal. Playing 96% of the minutes
There is no doubt that he is arguably the most iconic and successful player in Leicester City’s history and on his day he can be a danger to any side in the Premier League.
His work to close down, make runs in behind and his all round ability to finish will make him a threat throughout.
Head to Head record:
Aston Villa 35 wins, 25 Draws, Leicester City 44 wins
Last five meetings:
21 Feb 2021 – Aston Villa 1-2 Leicester City (Premier League)
18 Oct 2020 – Leicester City 0-1 Aston Villa (Premier League)
09 Mar 2020 – Leicester City 4-0 Aston Villa (Premier League)
28 Jan 2020 – Aston Villa 2-1 Leicester City (League Cup Semi Final)
08 Jan 2019 – Leicester City 1-1 Aston Villa (League Cup Semi Final)
AVILLAFAN MATCH PREDICTION
A tough one to call as team selections will be interesting but with the recent improvements and Leicester keeping only one clean sheet I’m piping for a home win.
Leicester will be a threat throughout so it will be up to Villa to be switched on all game.
Aston Villa 2-1 Leicester City
Tip of the day
If you back the score prediction, the 2-1 win is available at around 15/2 currently.
Villa win – 13/10
Draw – 5/2
Leicester City win – 2/1
With Leicester struggling to keep a clean sheet this season and particularly conceding goals from set pieces, both Tyrone Mings and Ezri Konsa are priced at around 10/1 to score any time or 28/1 to score the first goal.
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