Aston Villa vs Bournemouth predictions: Cherries can pick up another point
- Aston Villa have been slightly fortunate in their recent good run of results
- Bournemouth are growing in confidence after impressive displays against Arsenal and Liverpool
- Recommended bet: Draw
After correctly predicting the plight of one Premier League struggler in Southampton on Wednesday, Dan Sait assesses the chances of fellow south coast club Bournemouth at Aston Villa on Saturday.
Bournemouth were seconds away from gaining a result at Arsenal a fortnight ago but rallied impressively from that heartbreaking defeat to beat Liverpool 1-0 last weekend.
While Liverpool have been erratic this season, victory for the Cherries over a team who beat them 9-0 in the reverse fixture and had thrashed Manchester United 7-0 six days earlier shows there is no lack of fighting spirit within the south coast club.
Gary O’Neil’s men now visit arguably the only top-flight club with nothing left to play for, with European qualification surely beyond Aston Villa and relegation of no serious concern.
But that has not stopped Unai Emery’s men picking up some impressive results of late, with the Villans showing no sign of taking their foot off the gas just yet.
Philippe Coutinho is Villa’s only confirmed absentee, with the Brazilian expected back from a thigh injury after the international break.
Defensive midfielders Leander Dendoncker and Boubacar Kamara are both rated only 50/50 to feature due to their respective wrist and ankle injuries.
Bournemouth also have only one confirmed absentee, winger Junior Stanislas, but four other Cherries players are major doubts.
Midfielder Marcus Tavernier is unlikely to return from a thigh injury while January signing Illia Zabarnyi may have to wait until April to make his Bournemouth debut.
Attacker Hamed Traore is a major doubt and defender Adam Smith is struggling to recover from a groin strain.
Aston Villa have lost only three of 10 Premier League matches in 2023, with two of those defeats coming against Arsenal and Manchester City.
However, the underlying stats suggest Emery’s men have been fortunate to pick up five wins in that run as they have recorded more than 0.3 expected goals than their opponents on only three occasions — the victories over Crystal Palace and Southampton and a draw against Wolves.
Villa rode their luck to take all three points against Tottenham and Everton and beat Leeds 2-1 despite the Whites creating 2.4 expected goals to Villa’s 1.2.
Last weekend, out-of-form West Ham had the better of the chances in a 1-1 draw.
Bournemouth have lost only to Manchester City, Arsenal and in-form Brighton in their last seven league outings, beating Liverpool and holding Newcastle and Nottingham Forest at home during that run while winning away at Wolves.
However, the Cherries’ victory at Molineux was the only one of their last eight league away games in which they have avoided defeat.
There is a hint of fortune about Villa’s return of 17 points from 10 league games but while they have enjoyed the rub of the green on occasion, Emery can also call upon the excellent Emiliano Martinez in goal.
The World Cup winner has the quality to keep bailing his team out of trouble when needed and that means Bournemouth will have to do something special to beat him.
The visitors will not be cowed given they have beaten five of the best keepers in the division in their last five outings, scoring against each of Liverpool, Arsenal, Manchester City, Wolves and Newcastle, but will know they must again work hard to find the net.
They have a good stopper themselves at the other end in Neto, making under 2.5 goals an appealing Bet Builder option, and Bournemouth’s growing confidence could help them pinch a positive result.
The Cherries have not been great on the road but they won at Wolves prior to coming within seconds of a shock result at Arsenal and will fancy their chances of nicking another important point.
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