The Aston Villa fans were in ecstasy a fortnight ago when they saw their team triumphing 3-0 at Pride Park, with Dean Smith’s side running riot during the second half after an evenly matched first half against Derby. Villa are 17/20 at Bet365 to beat the Blues again.
Smith left Brentford a few weeks ago to take charge at Villa Park and it’s taken a little while for the former Walsall manager to find his feet, although the team looked slick against the Rams and are more than capable of winning this clash with something to spare.
There is a lot to like about the Villans and that’s especially the case in midfield where Conor Hourihane orchestrates affairs from a deep-lying position, while John McGinn and Jack Grealish are capable of running the show further forward.
Bolasie May Feature From the Get-Go
Yannick Bolasie is pressing to start the game after an impressive cameo in the previous game, while Axel Tuanzebe is improving all the time alongside James Chester and perhaps that is down to the coaching being provided by John Terry.
Birmingham, 12th in the Championship, will arrive and hope to arrest the feelgood factor at their rivals’ club, with the Blues having recently enjoyed a run of four consecutive wins although there has since been a 3-1 reverse at Derby before a 3-3 draw against Hull.
Blues Need to Plug the Gaps
Garry Monk will call upon his team to stop conceding goals, with Che Adams having scored five in as many games although the former Sheffield United man might struggle to get any change out of the opposing defence in this one.
Despite Steve Bruce struggling during the early throes of the season, Villa’s home form of 4-3-1 isn’t too bad and they’ve previously beaten Bolton and Swansea in front of their own supporters.
Smith said after the Derby game that there is still plenty of room for improvement in his ranks and this might be in evidence here.