Aston Villa return to Villa Park as they host Wolves in today’s 3pm kickoff.
Both teams will be hoping to take some local bragging rights as they meet for their first derby of the season.
Dean Smith’s side will be looking to bounce back after the disappointing 2-1 loss away to Tottenham Hotspur before the international break and Wolves will be looking to win a third game in row following victories against Southampton and Newcastle United respectively.
Bruno Lage’s team had a slow start to the season with four losses in their opening five league games but their performances at times have been a lot better than their results have suggested. With their two recent wins it may suggest that they are starting to gel together under the new manager.
Villa will be hoping to keep their unbeaten home record with two wins and a draw at Villa Park so far.
With both teams separated by a single point, it is a tough game to call.
Last season saw Villa pick up an injury time winner away to Wolves with an Anwar El Ghazi penalty whilst the return fixture at Villa Park saw a lacklustre 0-0 draw played out.
Aston Villa Team News
Yet again, international football has resulted in a late return for numerous players.
Emiliano Martinez and Douglas Luiz got back late from World Cup Qualifiers in South America and should both miss out, it would result in Jed Steer starting in goal and a midfield reshuffle.
Bertrand Traore’s injury woes of late continue after a knock on international duty and he will likely miss out along with Leon Bailey and Morgan Sanson.
Trezeguet and Keinan Davis remain firmly sidelined.
Possible starting line up:
Martinez, Targett, Mings, Konsa, Cash, Luiz, McGinn, Buendia, Ramsay, Watkins, Ings
Wolves Team News
Wolves will be without Trincao following a positive Covid test and he will join Yerson Mosquera, Jonny and Pedro Neto who are all still sidelined.
Adama Traore will likely return to the side due to Trincao missing out although Lage may consider to reintroduce Daniel Podence.
Possible starting line up:
Sa, Kilman, Coady, Saiss, Semedo, Neves, Moutinho, Marcal, Traore, Jiminez, Hwang
One to watch:
Raul Jiminez is today’s pick for the one to watch.
Firstly, irrespective of the team, it has been good to see him return to Premier League football following the sickening clash of heads with David Luiz so long ago. At the time there were many questions around whether he would even play again.
Jiminez is a firm fan favourite at Wolves and has 35 Premier League goals in 93 appearances.
His goal against Southampton showed his individual brilliance and marked a huge moment in the return of the Mexican international.
A clever striker with a strong ability to link up play and roll in wingers and those playing off him, Villa will need to ensure the defence and covering midfielders do not allow him too much time and space.
Head to Head record:
Aston Villa 56 wins, 33 Draws, Wolves 41 wins
Last five meetings:
06 Mar 2021 – Aston Villa 0-0 Wolves (Premier League)
12 Dec 2020 – Wolves 0-1 Aston Villa (Premier League)
27 Jun 2020 – Aston Villa 0-1 Wolves (Premier League)
10 Nov 2019 – Wolves 2-1 Aston Villa (Premier League)
30 Oct 2019 – Aston Villa 2-1 Wolves (League Cup)
AVILLAFAN MATCH PREDICTION
A very difficult fixture to predict with Villa’s inconsistent form and Wolves not scoring many goals this season so far despite some good performances.
Central midfield will be an intriguing battle with McGinn and probably Luiz, up against the likes of Neves and Moutinho.
Aston Villa 1-1 Wolves
Tip of the day
A random choice today but last season saw plenty of bookings and a Joao Moutinho red card.
With Matt Targett potentially up against Adama Traore too I feel the cards market may be an option for this one!
You can get a double of Matt Targett and Joao Moutinho to be booked at 33/1 … ambitious maybe, but wouldn’t take a lot to happen!
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