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Aston Villa vs Wolves predictions: Feisty affair expected at Villa Park
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Steve Davies
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Unai Emery will be wary of the threat posed by Wolves to hosts Aston Villa on Saturday.
Unai Emery will be wary of the threat posed by Wolves to hosts Aston Villa on Saturday.

- Aston Villa have lost three of their last four home league games
- Wolves need to hit back after FA Cup humiliation at the hands of Coventry
- Recommended bet:
Aston Villa Over 2.5 Team Cards

Champions League-chasing Aston Villa and Europe-chasing Wolves meet in a Midlands derby that has plenty riding on it, with European football next season a realistic possibility for both clubs.

High stakes could well mean a high card count in a repeat of a match-up which saw seven yellow cards and a red when they last met in the autumn.

Team news

Villa midfielder John McGinn sits out the second game of a three-match ban and Jacob Ramsey has to be a major doubt, which should mean that Morgan Rogers and Youri Tielemans lineup in midfield.

Moussa Diaby is expected to start up front ahead of Jhon Duran and alongside Ollie Watkins.

For the visitors Santi Bueno is again poised to deputise in defence should Craig Dawson not pass a fitness test.

Pedro Neto and Hwang Hee-chan have been ruled out for Gary O’Neil’s men, though nine-goal Matheus Cunha could be involved after a lay-off.

The stats

Villa have lost three of their last four Premier League home matches and have not kept a clean sheet at home in six in the league.

They have failed to win any of their last six Premier League clashes with Wolves.

Since Christmas Eve only three sides – Manchester City, Liverpool and Arsenal – have collected more points than Wolves.

Gary O’Neil’s side are unbeaten in the last 10 league games in which they have opened the scoring.

Prediction

Villa are a short price to see off Wolves and carry on their journey towards a top-four finish, but they look short enough.

Wolves are an unpredictable team, one capable of winning at places like Chelsea and Spurs and beating Man City, but just as likely to throw in a howler against bottom-six opponents.

But they have a good record against Villa in a match which, given the stakes and the stage of the season, could well get fiery with a passionate crowd playing their part.

When the sides met at Molineux in October the match finished 1-1 with seven yellow cards shown plus a red to Wolves’ midfielder Mario Lemina.

In Villa’s last two league games that were in any way competitive – the 1-1 draw at West Ham and before that the 3-2 success at Luton – they collected three and four yellows respectively.

This fixture can certainly be filed under ‘competitive’ so watch the card count with Villa a value bet to pick up three or more cards.

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