Aston Villa moved into fourth spot in the Premier League with Sunday’s win at Tottenham, but it has been their home form that has grabbed plenty of attention and they will look to continue their fine run on their own patch against Legia Warszawa in the Europa Conference League on Thursday.
Unai Emery’s side have won nine of their 10 games at Villa Park this term and there should be no shortage of motivation when they host the Poles, as they seek revenge having lost 3-2 in September’s reverse fixture.
The pair both have nine points from their four matches and this week’s meeting should have a big bearing on who takes top spot in Group E.
Aston Villa manager Unai Emery may give a few of his fringe players the chance to impress, so that could be good news for Leon Bailey, Youri Tielemans and Jacob Ramsey, all of whom were used as substitutes at Spurs.
Tyrone Mings and Emi Buendia both remain out with long-term knee injuries.
Legia should welcome back defender Steve Kapuadi after a domestic suspension, but the game has probably come too early for recently injured Bartosz Kaputska and Filip Rejczyk.
Aston Villa are 2/7 to claim three points on Thursday, while Legia are 10/1 to beat them for a second time and the draw is available at 10/11.
Goals are anticipated, with over 2.5 chalked up at 8/15 while punters can get evens on both teams finding the net.
Watkins is understandably favourite at 11/4 to score the first goal, followed by Jhon Duran, who scored Villa’s opener in their 3-2 defeat in Poland, at 7/2.
Aston Villa to win & both teams to score @ 9/5
A 2-1 League Cup defeat to Everton is the only occasion this season when Aston Villa have failed to win a home game, so it is no surprise to see them hot favourites to gain revenge for their defeat in Poland.
However, their 1-0 victory over Zrinjski in a previous Europa Conference League game was the only time they have recorded a clean sheet in their last eight home matches at their Birmingham base.
So, while they may not have enough to win, that should give Legia hope that they can at least make their mark, which would be a boost for a side who have won just one of their last seven league matches.
Legia have scored 12 goals in their five away matches in this competition this season, so it is worth chancing that Villa will win and both teams will score, something that has happened in each of the Villans’ last four home games.
#PickYourPunt - Over 3.5 goals, under 5.5 Villa corners and Ollie Watkins to score anytime @ 9/2
Those looking for a #PickYourPunt option should consider backing over 3.5 goals in the clash with both teams likely to be positive, just as they were in Poland when they each netted within the first six minutes.
There have been at least four goals in six of Villa’s last ten matches, but one statistic where they are quite a way down the standings is home corners.
Only Brentford, Nottingham Forest and Sheffield United have forced fewer than Villa’s average of 4.67 per home game in the Premier League this season, so under 5.5 home corners could be of interest too.
Ollie Watkins to score at any time can be added too. The England striker has scored in five of his last seven club appearances and, after scoring a hat-trick against Hibs before the group stage, notched in both of Villa’s recent Europa Conference League games against AZ Alkmaar.
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