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Free betting tips: Sky Bet Championship - West Brom v Aston Villa

Our best bets for West Brom v Aston Villa
Our best bets for West Brom v Aston Villa

With winners in West Brom's televised game on Monday, Tom Carnduff has 12/1, 14/1 and 16/1 best bets for Friday night.


Recommended bets

1pt Conor Hourihane to score from outside the area at 12/1

1pt Harvey Barnes 2+ shots on target and Tammy Abraham 3+ shots on target at 14/1

1pt Dwight Gayle 6+ shots and Jack Grealish 3+ shots at 16/1

For details of advised bookmakers and each-way terms, visit our transparent tipping record



West Brom v Aston Villa (Hawthorns, 2000 GMT, Sky Sports Main Event)

Friday night football has all the ingredients to be a real Christmas cracker as West Brom welcome Aston Villa to the Hawthorns.

Both sides have highlighted their attacking capabilities in recent weeks, and given the fact that Aston Villa drew 5-5 less than two weeks ago, there is every chance of a high-scoring encounter here.

The Baggies are set for their second televised appearance in the space of five days, and they will be hoping for a better result after a late equaliser denied them all three points against struggling Brentford.

In Aston Villa though, they face an opponent full of confidence since Dean Smith's arrival and they convincingly beat Middlesbrough 3-0 at the Riverside on Saturday night.

It's no surprise to see Villa top of the form charts with 17 goals in their last five games. West Brom aren't far behind though, with ten points gained from a possible 15.

This is set to be an open, entertaining game given how both sides possess quality in attack and I doubt either will be happy to sit back and take a point.

Do Villa have enough to get back to the top-flight?
Aston Villa celebrate

That's why there is value in the stats betting and two bets caught my eye at prices of 14/1 and 16/1.

The first of which involves Tammy Abraham and Harvey Barnes, two players who have been key attacking elements for their sides.

Abraham has been in fantastic form with goals, goals, goals being on the agenda in recent weeks. He scored against Birmingham and Middlesbrough, alongside grabbing an incredible four in a 5-5 draw with Nottingham Forest.

The striker has managed at least four shots in each of those last three games, with his last two games seeing at least four shots on target.

Barnes is another player aiming to be amongst the goals, with two shots in each of his last three games. He also netted in that draw against Brentford.

That's why backing backing Barnes to have 2+ shots on target and Abraham to have 3+ shots on target looks a tad overpriced at 14s.

Harvey Barnes celebrates
Harvey Barnes has been on target for West Brom this seaso

The other selection requires shots, as opposed to shots on target, which means that the tallies are a bit higher.

Jack Grealish has seen the joint-highest shots in this Aston Villa side. Only Tammy Abraham has managed to match his 45 this season.

Dwight Gayle should come back into the starting line-up after he replaced Hal Robson-Kanu at half-time on Monday night.

He has continued to prove that he is a player who knows where the net is at this level and will be eager for a positive performance in order to cement that starting spot.

I'd be happy to back Gayle having 6+ shots and Grealish having 3+ at 16/1, given the players involved and the predicted attacking game.

Aston Villa's Conor Hourihane
Aston Villa's Conor Hourihane

On the goalscorer front, I like the look of the 12/1 available on Conor Hourihane scoring from outside the area at the Hawthorns.The midfielder has three goals and six assists to his tally this season and has proven to be a real threat from dead-ball situations.

Hourihane trails Grealish and Abraham for shots taken this season, but what is of interest is the fact that the majority have come from outside the area.

Of his 39 shots, only six have come from inside the penalty area, highlighting how he isn't afraid to try his luck from distance.

Considering he is a general price of 4/1 to score anytime, it is worth taking the 12/1 on offer for him to continue his trend of finding the net from outside of the area.

Score prediction: West Brom 2-2 Aston Villa (Sky Bet odds: 11/1)

Best bets:

Matt Phillips celebrates after scoring against Birmingham
Matt Phillips celebrates after scoring against Birmingham

Opta facts

  • West Brom and Aston Villa last faced in a league match in January 2016 at the Hawthorns in the Premier League – a goalless draw.
  • Aston Villa are winless in their last six league visits to West Bromwich Albion (W0 D4 L2) since a 2-1 win in September 2008.
  • West Brom have lost four of their last five home league games played on Friday, winning the other versus Leicester in April 2010 (3-0).
  • Aston Villa are winless in eight away league matches played on Friday (W0 D6 L2) since a 2-0 win at Wrexham in March 1972.
  • Aston Villa striker Tammy Abraham has scored 10 goals in his last 10 league appearances, including netting seven in his last four.
  • Aston Villa have won more points under Dean Smith this season (16 in 8 games) than they did in 11 games under Steve Bruce (15).

Odds correct at 1410 GMT (06/12/18)

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