Aston Villa won’t sit back and defend their lead when they head to West Brom in the Championship play-offs, according to Dean Smith.
Aston Villa boss Dean Smith says he will not be adopting a defensive approach and will be going all out to win the second leg of Tuesday’s Championship play-off semi-final against West Bromwich Albion (WBA 15/8, Draw 5/2, Aston Villa 31/20 – Championship play-offs match betting).
Villa are just 90 minutes away from booking their spot in a second consecutive play-off final, having lost 1-0 to Fulham last year, and they hold a 2-1 advantage from the first leg.
Playing in front of a raucous crowd at Villa Park, they came from 1-0 down to win the first leg 2-1 after goals from substitute Conor Hourihane and top scorer Tammy Abraham.
History is in favour of Villa heading into Tuesday’s contest, with 16 of the last 18 sides to win the first leg of a Championship play-off semi-final going on to progress through to the final.
Villa ended the regular season with a seven-game unbeaten run on the road, winning five and drawing two, although they have not won at the Hawthorns since September 2008.
Speaking ahead of the match, Smith insists his side will be putting on an attacking show and will be not sitting back in the hope of holding onto their first-leg advantage.
“I won’t be sat behind the ball as much as Albion were. My aim is to go and win the game. We’ll be looking to score more goals,” he told the club’s official website.
“I said before that the tie couldn’t be won in the first leg. We’ve given ourselves an advantage, but that’s all it is. We’ve got to go and perform at The Hawthorns now.
“It’ll be a different game. I can’t see them playing how they did (at Villa Park). We’ve got to go there full of confidence. There’s a lot of belief in this team, that’s for sure.”
Abraham has found the back of the net with four of his last five attempts on target in the Championship and he is 4/1 to score first on Tuesday, while he is 7/5 to net at any point of the match.
Odds subject to change.