Following their impressive win over Tottenham, Aston Villa gear up to face an improving Wolverhampton Wanderers side at home on Wednesday night.
Wolves ran Manchester United close in a tight 1-0 defeat at Molineux on New Year’s Eve, showcasing defensive solidity for over 70 minutes before Marcus Rashford broke the deadlock in favour of the frustrated visitors.
And while Villa’s victory in North London – a third win in four Premier League matches under Unai Emery – sees them seven points clear of the drop zone, Julen Lopetegui’s Wolves could haul themselves out of the bottom three if they are able to channel the spirit that saw them overcome Everton on Boxing Day.
Aston Villa vs Wolves Betting Tips
John McGinn, Douglas Luiz and Ezri Konsa will all face late assessments after being substituted due to injury in Aston Villa’s win over Tottenham, while World Cup-winning goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez awaits a Premier League return after his exploits with Argentina in Qatar.
A debut may be in order for Wolves’ new forward Matheus Cunha, who has been included in the travelling squad, while Boubacar Traore could make his return from a groin injury after spending the game against Manchester United on the bench.
Aston Villa to win @ EVS
The return to Villa Park after the World Cup ended ultimately in defeat – a 3-1 loss against Liverpool on Boxing Day – but home turf has seen the best of the Villans this season.
Their return of 13 points from eight games is better than 10 Premier League sides and the victory over Tottenham saw them recover well, leaving the gap to sixth-placed Liverpool at just seven points – the same number of points lie between them and the bottom three.
Winning against Spurs despite seeing only 41 per cent of possession, Villa could enjoy more room to manoeuvre against Wolves, who themselves were chasing the ball for 54 per cent of the time against Manchester United and face a higher level of task than they did against a tumbling Everton.
Ollie Watkins to score anytime @ 6/4
Keeping top scorer Danny Ings out of the side is no mean feat, but Ollie Watkins’ threat in front of goal has meant that Emery has seen fit to leave the ex-Liverpool man on the bench for all but 14 minutes since the Premier League’s return.
Watkins netted Villa’s only goal in the defeat to Liverpool before turning provider against Tottenham, laying on Emiliano Buendia’s opener shortly after half-time.
With Ings pushing for a recall and the chance to break his boss’ favoured partnership of Watkins and Leon Bailey, the former Brentford frontman will be keen to strike while the iron is hot.
Wolves have shown signs of improvement as the Lopetegui era begins, but make no mistake: a match-up with a relegation-threatened side presents an ideal opportunity for Watkins to open his account for 2023.
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