Aston Villa vs Leeds predictions: Villa poised to pounce on error-prone Leeds
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Simon Barlow
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Ollie Watkins could be key for Villa against Leeds
Ollie Watkins could be key for Villa against Leeds

- Aston Villa have won four of their last seven league games
- Leeds have lost five of their last seven away PL matches 
- Recommended bet: Aston Villa to win

Aston Villa and Leeds will shift their focus from the transfer market to the pitch for Friday evening's Premier League clash at Villa Park.

The home side's ranks have been boosted by the arrival of Spanish left-back Alex Moreno this week, while Leeds are reportedly making progress in negotiations to take Hoffenheim striker Georginio Rutter to West Yorkshire.

Villa boss Unai Emery will welcome the new addition as he looks to shake up a squad that were sent crashing out of the FA Cup at the hands of League Two Stevenage last weekend.

That result followed a few days after Emery had revealed his players did not follow his instructions in the 1-1 draw with Wolves.

Leeds, meanwhile, are languishing in 14th place after back-to-back Premier League draws and a cup stalemate against Championship strugglers Cardiff that saw manager Jesse Marsch face more flak from the fans.

Team news

Moreno arrived from Real Betis on Wednesday and Villa are still waiting to see if the paperwork is finalised in time for him to face Leeds.

John McGinn (hamstring) and Diego Carlos (Achilles) are out, with Leander Dendoncker suspended after being ordered off for conceding the penalty which sparked Stevenage's late cup comeback.

Matty Cash is a doubt with a groin problem he sustained in the second half of that clash and could be replaced by Ashley Young in defence.

Emiliano Martinez will come in for Robin Olsen between the posts, while fellow goalkeeper Jed Steer remains hopeful of regaining full fitness next month.

For Leeds, Patrick Bamford is set to make a welcome return to the squad following a six-game absence after undergoing a groin operation in Munich.

Goalkeeper Illan Meslier and captain Liam Cooper are also both available after knocks but forward Crysencio Summerville (ankle) is out for a month.

He joins Luis Sinisterra, Archie Gray and Stuart Dallas on the sidelines.

Midfielder Adam Forshaw, meanwhile, has missed Leeds' last two games with a hip problem.

The stats

Rodrigo is the first Leeds player to score in each of the first two games (vs West Ham and Cardiff) of a calendar year since Luciano Becchio in 2013.

Rodrigo has been amongst the goals for Leeds this term
Rodrigo has been amongst the goals for Leeds this term

The Spaniard has scored 40% of the Whites' league goals so far this season (10/25), with only Erling Haaland (47%) and Harry Kane (41%) netting a higher share for Manchester City and Tottenham respectively.

Leeds have had two different teenagers (Wilfried Gnonto against West Ham and Sonny Perkins against Cardiff) score in consecutive games for the first time since October 1999 (Alan Smith vs Lokomotiv Moscow, Jonathan Woodgate vs Everton).

Villa scored seven goals in 11 league matches under Steven Gerrard earlier this season, averaging just 0.6 per game, but that rate has more than trebled since he was sacked with the team averaging 1.9 goals per game in the Premier League (13 in seven matches including the Brentford game).

Prediction

Villa have won more games, scored more goals and posted more clean sheets than Leeds this season and generally seem to be moving in the right direction under their new manager.

The same cannot be said of Marsch, who still divides opinion around Elland Road while his team struggle on the fringes of a relegation battle.

The Whites have accrued the joint-fewest away points in the Premier League this term — a symptom of shipping at least two goals in five of their eight road games.

Although talented in attack, Marsch's men make too many individual mistakes and four such errors have led directly to goals this season — the joint-most in the top flight.

Villa, who are 19/20 to beat Leeds with LiveScore, should be ready to pounce when the moment arises on Friday to pinch all three points.

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Aston VillaLeeds UnitedPremier League
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