Preview: Aston Villa vs. Leeds United
Sports Mole previews Friday’s Premier League clash between Aston Villa and Leeds United, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
The visitors are currently 14th in the table, boasting 17 points from their opening 17 matches, while Villa are 11th, picking up 22 points from their first 18 games of the 2022-23 campaign.
Unai Emery has taken charge of seven matches since his arrival at Villa, with the Spaniard boasting a record of three wins, one draw and three defeats, and there has been a huge improvement in the Premier League.
Indeed, Villa have won three, drawn one and lost one of their five league matches under Emery, with the form moving them into 11th position in the table on 22 points, just three points behind 10th-placed Chelsea.
Villa recorded a 2-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur on New Year’s Day but had to come from behind to secure a point against Wolverhampton Wanderers last Wednesday, with Danny Ings cancelling out an opener from Daniel Podence.
Emery’s team suffered a shock defeat in the FA Cup at the weekend, meanwhile, losing 2-1 at home to League Two outfit Stevenage, and the club’s supporters will be expecting a response in this match.
Villa, who now only have Premier League football to focus on this season, are unbeaten in their last four Premier League games with Leeds, including a goalless draw at Elland Road in the reverse match back in October.
Leeds, meanwhile, drew 2-2 with Cardiff City in the FA Cup at the weekend, meaning that a replay will be required to determine whether they will advance to the fourth round of the competition.
The Whites have also drawn their last two in the Premier League, playing out a 0-0 with Newcastle United on December 31 before a 2-2 draw with West Ham United on January 4.
Jesse Marsch‘s side have not been victorious in England’s top flight since a 4-3 success over Bournemouth at the start of November, losing to Tottenham and Manchester City since then.
Leeds are currently 14th in the table, boasting 17 points from their opening 17 matches, which has left them two points clear of 18th-placed Everton ahead of the next set of fixtures.
There are only three points separating 19th-placed Wolves from Leicester City in 13th, though, which is an indication of how quickly things could change towards the bottom of the table.
Leeds have not beaten Villa since a 3-0 success at Villa Park in October 2020, although two of the last four top-flight meetings between the two sides have finished all square.
Aston Villa Premier League form:
Aston Villa form (all competitions):
Leeds United Premier League form:
Leeds United form (all competitions):
The home side will also be without the services of Leander Dendoncker following his red card against Stevenage, while Matty Cash and Ludwig Augustinsson both had to be replaced in the FA Cup third-round fixture after picking up injury problems.
Cash is expected to recover in time for this match, though, and there will be changes from the side that started at the weekend, with Emiliano Buendia, Ashley Young, Ollie Watkins, Lucas Digne, Emiliano Martinez, Tyrone Mings and Boubacar Kamara all set to return to the first XI.
Alex Moreno is yet to officially complete a move from Real Betis, though, so he will not be involved.
As for Leeds, head coach Marsch will also make wholesale changes to the side that took to the field for the first whistle against Cardiff in the FA Cup.
Aston Villa possible starting lineup:
Martinez; Young, Konsa, Mings, Digne; Cash, Kamara, Luiz, Buendia; Watkins, Bailey
Leeds United possible starting lineup:
Meslier; Ayling, Koch, Cooper, Struijk; Roca, Adams; Aaronson, Gnonto, Summerville; Rodrigo
We say: Aston Villa 2-1 Leeds United
Leeds have the third-worst away record in the Premier League this season, picking up just five points from eight matches, while Villa have collected 14 points in front of their own fans. We are expecting a tight match on Friday but believe that Emery’s side will navigate their way to an important three points.
For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.
Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data
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