Wolves make the short trip to Villa Park for this Midlands derby, and Jake Pearson has previewed the match, picking out two best bets.
1pt Wolves to win at 13/5 (General)
1pt Over 2.5 Goals at 23/20 (BetVictor)
Just two places and one point currently separate Aston Villa and Wolverhampton Wanderers as the two prepare for their upcoming Midlands derby.
Villa, who currently occupy 10th place in the Premier League, have made a good start to their third campaign back in the top flight, but it could have been even better.
But equally, an opening-day defeat to Watford, coupled with losses away at Chelsea and Tottenham, for all Villa did show plenty of signs of life in all three matches, reiterates the lack of consistency that perhaps prevents them from progressing.
Similarly, Wolves have won three of their opening seven fixtures, posting victories over Watford, Southampton and Newcastle.
Bruno Lage’s four other matches in charge have ended in defeat, but three of those losses came against teams that finished in last season’s top seven, while the other came against a very accomplished-looking Brentford side.
For both sides, they will be relatively happy with their start to the season, but with an underlying feeling of disappointment.
Essentially, these are two evenly matched teams, or at least they are on paper.
Looking deeper into the data, however, and it is arguably Wolves who would be making the stronger case for being on the wrong end of things this term.
Lage’s men may only have scored five goals this season, but only last season’s top four and West Ham have created more chances than Wolves this term as per Expected Goals, with Wolves also sitting seventh in terms of shots per game.
Defensively, as well, the Old Gold have been solid, conceding fewer than a goal a game on average, but crucially not allowing many chances – only Manchester City boast a better Expected Goals Against total.
Wolves boast the third-best Expected Goal Difference in the league, whereas Aston Villa sit 11th on the same metric.
Villa have netted 10 times this season, double the amount Wolves have, but that has been down to clinical finishing, rather than consistently creating good scoring opportunities.
All in all, this should be an entertaining affair, Villa yet to lose at home this season, while Wolves have taken six points from a possible nine on the road.
Given the parallels, and the similarity in terms of ability level, this is a tough game to predict, but considering the fact that the layers have given Aston Villa an 18% higher chance of winning this match than Wolves, the away side make appeal from a betting perspective.
A price of 13/5 for WOLVES TO WIN catches the eye and is worth getting onside.
Away from the 1X2 market, siding with goals in this fixture could also prove profitable.
These two make no bones about the way they play, they are fast, direct football teams. In fact, only Burnley have played more accurate long balls than Wolves this season, with Villa also in the top seven, and the fact that these two were second and third respectively in that table last season demonstrates how well versed they are in their style of play.
Only one of the last four Premier League meetings between these two has seen more than one goal, but swapping Nuno Espirito Santo for Lage has given Wolves a much more expansive mindset, and with Villa at home, they will be forced to take the game to Wanderers, leaving plenty of space for the counter-attack.
Wolves failed to score in their opening three matches, and that has skewed the figures somewhat, but Lage’s men have found the net seven times in their last five games in all competitions, failing to score just once in that period, while Villa have failed to find the net on just one occasion all season, against Chelsea, a match they actually won the xG battle in (CHE 1.13 – 1.33 AV).
OVER 2.5 GOALS is currently available at a top price of 23/20 with BetVictor, and that is certainly worth backing.
Score prediction: Aston Villa 1-2 Wolves (Sky Bet odds: 10/1)
Odds correct at 1210 BST (13/10/21)
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