Aston Villa vs Wolves Prediction: Emery to break Wolves hoodoo

 | March 29 | 

6 mins read

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The Premier League returns this weekend following the March international break, and there's a Midlands clash to look forward to at Villa Park on Saturday (KO, 17:30) as Wolves make the short trip to face Aston Villa.

Both sides suffered disappointing defeats earlier this month - Villa lost 4-0 in the league to Tottenham Hotspur on March 10 and Wolves exited the FA Cup six days later at home to Coventry City - so there is a lot riding on this game. Below is our Aston Villa vs Wolves prediction alongside all the latest team news and match odds for Sky Sports' Saturday evening fixture pick.

Aston Villa vs Wolves Betting Tips

  • Aston Villa to win to nil @ 21/10
  • Youri Tielemans to score anytime @ 9/2

Team News

Matty Cash has been ruled out for the next few weeks after picking up an injury on international duty with Poland, so Ezri Konsa will start at right-back, as he did for England against Belgium on Tuesday and against West Ham in Villa's last game.

Diego Carlos was an unused substitute against the Hammers but could come into the side in place of Clement Lenglet, while Lucas Digne may start ahead of Alex Moreno at left-back.

John McGinn is serving the second of a three-game suspension which means that, with Boubacar Kamara still injured, Youri Tielemans will likely be paired with Douglas Luiz in central midfield.

20-year-old Tim Iroegbunam, who scored a stunner for England U20s against their Polish counterparts last Friday, should also be under consideration to make his full Premier League debut.

Leon Bailey and Morgan Rogers appear sure-fire candidates to start out wide while Moussa Diaby will expect to join Ollie Watkins in attack, with Jhon Duran dropping to the bench after being hooked for the Frenchman at half-time in east London earlier this month.

Wolves were without their attacking triumvirate of Pedro Neto, Hwang Hee-chan and Matheus Cunha against Coventry, with two of them looking certain to miss out again this weekend.

However, there are positive signs over Cunha, who has been pictured back on the training pitch. Whether he is fit enough to make the starting XI is another thing given he has been out since February 10, but just having him back on the bench will be a big boost for head coach Gary O'Neil.

18-year-old Nathan Fraser could be asked to lead the attack again with the experienced Spaniard Pablo Sarabia providing support.

Jean-Ricner Bellegarde was injured for Wolves' FA Cup exit but if fit will likely be brought into the line-up to provided more dynamism in the final third, allowing Mario Lemina to move further back alongside newly-capped Brazil international Joao Gomes.

Match Odds

Wolves are the only English club Unai Emery has failed to beat in his career, but Aston Villa are 8/13 - or a 61.9% chance - to snap the Spaniard out of that spell on Saturday.

Two of the last three - including the reverse fixture in October - have ended in stalemate, and it's 16/5 for another draw between the pair this weekend, while Wolves are 4/1 - or a 20% chance - to record a fourth win in their last seven against their Midlands rivals.

Both teams to score has landed in four of the last five head-to-heads and it's 4/7 for them to each find the net at Villa Park, while over 3.5 goals can be found at 5/4.

Aston Villa to win to nil @ 21/10

There was a goal apiece in the reverse fixture at Molineux in October, while Wolves haven't lost - or failed to score - in the last five meetings between these sides, with Villa last triumphing 1-0 in December 2020 courtesy of an Anwar El Ghazi penalty.

More recently, Villa have struggled to keep clean sheets in the Premier League, failing to shut out any of their last six opponents in the competition. Indeed, their only clean sheets in the league this calendar year have come away from home at relegation candidates Everton and Sheffield United.

However, there is reason to believe that they can break the mould and keep a first Premier League clean sheet of 2024 at Villa Park this weekend.

Wolves are still without their top scorer - Hwang Hee-chan - who has found the net 10 times in the league this term. That's almost a quarter (10/42) of their total in the first 28 games of the season, and his absence - as well as Cunha's - was notable in their last away outing against Newcastle United on March 2, when they lost 3-0 at St. James' Park.

Fellow attacker Pedro Neto, who has scored twice and registered nine assists in 19 Premier League appearances, was withdrawn at half-time of that game and was subsequently replaced before the interval in Wolves' next match, a 2-1 win over Fulham, and the Portugal international is expected to miss the rest of the campaign through injury.

Much now rests on the form of Sarabia, who started as just one of two attackers - the other being the inexperienced Fraser - in Wolves' 3-2 cup defeat to Coventry last time out. The Spaniard was unable to make a meaningful contribution however, and has now failed to fire in his last five for club and country.

At home, Villa should be confident of a much-needed clean sheet which will act as a big boost ahead of a tough fixture with Manchester City the following week.

Youri Tielemans to score anytime @ 9/2

It's not quite happened in front of goal for Tielemans so far at Villa, whom he joined on a free transfer from Leicester City last summer. At the Foxes, he was regarded as a goal threat from midfield, scoring 21 in the Premier League across four-and-a-half seasons at the King Power Stadium.

The former Monaco man never scored fewer than three in a single league campaign for the East Midlands club, but in 25 Premier League appearances for Villa, Tielemans has only struck once, and that was against bottom side Sheffield United in a 5-0 thrashing on February 3.

The 26-year-old has been overshadowed by fellow midfielders Douglas Luiz and John McGinn, who have struck 15 Premier League goals between them this term - nine for the former and six for the latter.

However, McGinn will be absent again on Saturday and with Kamara still sidelined, Tielemans should play the majority, if not all, of the 90-plus minutes at Villa Park.

The Belgium international's confidence should be raised after scoring a first-half brace in his country's 2-2 draw with England at Wembley on Tuesday, the first being an opportunistic strike from outside the box after a Jordan Pickford blunder, so don't be surprised to see him try his luck from distance this weekend.

He has form against Wolves after all, scoring a thunderous effort for Leicester at Molineux in a 4-0 win in October 2022.

Betfred will be Top Price or joint Top Price on Aston Villa to beat Wolves with selected bookmakers using for the comparison (Available from 09:30 Saturday).

Check out the rest of our Football Betting Tips here.

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