Aston Villa v Middlesbrough Betting Tips & Preview – Tuesday 15th May 2018

Aston Villa and Middlesbrough meet at Villa Park this Tuesday night for the second leg of their EFL Championship play-off semi-final. Steve Bruce’s Villa hold a narrow lead in this tie, but there’s a lot to play for in the West Midlands. The Villans are the strong favourites to make it through to Wembley Stadium, but we’re not ruling out Tony Pulis and his troops just yet.

This will be the fifth and most important meeting between the pair this season. Villa have won two of the four and a win on Tuesday would take them into the Championship play-off final. However, Boro ran out 2-0 winners at Villa Park in an EFL Cup match back in September – a repeat result would take them through.

Top Tips

Aston Villa to Win 1-0 @ 5/1

Aston Villa to Win to Nil @ 12/5

Odds correct at time of writing but may have changed since. Check site for latest prices.

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Aston Villa Form

During the regular Championship season, only Wolverhampton Wanderers and Cardiff City, who were both promoted to the Premier League automatically, had a better home record than Villa. Bruce’s boys won 14, drew seven and lost just two of their 23 home league matches. After losing at home to Queens Park Rangers in mid-March, the Villans took 10 points from the last 12 on offer on home soil.

Apart from a loss to Millwall on the final day, Villa ended the season in decent shape, winning four of their last seven. As we touched on, Villa have been very solid at their home ground this term, and they will fancy their chances of getting the job done at Villa Park on Tuesday night.

Middlesbrough v Aston Villa 12th May 2018 0-1 Win
Millwall v Aston Villa 6th May 2018 1-0 Loss
Aston Villa v Derby County 28th April 2018 1-1 Draw

Middlesbrough Form

Middlesbrough also ended their Championship campaign strongly, winning four, drawing one and losing one of their last six. In fact, after losing at Cardiff in mid-February, Pulis’ men only suffered two league defeats. Even though they fell to a 1-0 loss to Villa in the first leg last Saturday, Boro are still very capable of turning this tie around.

Boro were slow starters away from home this season, but they certainly improved on the road under Pulis. The Teesside outfit head to Villa Park having lost only one of their previous seven away matches. With nothing to lose and everything to gain, Boro will no doubt have a real go at Villa on Tuesday.

Middlesbrough v Aston Villa 12th May 2018 0-1 Loss
Ipswich Town v Middlesbrough 6th May 2018 2-2 Draw
Middlesbrough v Millwall 28th April 2018 2-0 Win

Head to Head Stats

Mile Jedinak’s 15th-minute header proved to be enough for Villa at the Riverside Stadium. Boro huffed and puffed after that but failed to find an equaliser. When the pair met in North Yorkshire in the league back in December, the Villans also left with a 1-0 win.

Boro’s 2-0 win at Villa Park in the EFL Cup back in September was their first success in this fixture since winning 2-1 in the Midlands in a Premier League matchup way back in 2008. Villa have lost just two of their last 11 league and cup meetings with Middlesbrough.

12th May 2018 Middlesbrough 0-1 Aston Villa Aston Villa Ch'ship Play-offs
30th Dec 2017 Middlesbrough 0-1 Aston Villa Aston Villa Championship
19th Sep 2017 Aston Villa 0-2 Middlesbrough Middlesbrough EFL Cup

Injuries & Suspensions

Aston Villa defender Neil Taylor and Ahmed Elmohamady are both in a race to be fit for this second leg. Axel Tuanzebe and Jed Steer will miss out again. After limping off at the Riverside on Saturday, Daniel Ayala is doubtful for Boro. Pulis will certainly be without Rudy Gestede, who is recovering from a broken ankle.

Aston Villa

  • Neil Taylor - Likely to miss out with a hamstring strain
  • Ahmed Elmohamady - Defender a doubt after suffering a hamstring injury
  • Axel Tuanzebe - Out with an ankle problem
  • Jed Steer - Goalkeeper still recovering from a dislocated shoulder


  • Daniel Ayala - Could miss out with a leg injury
  • Rudy Gestede - Side-lined with broken ankle

Betting Tips

This promises to be a thrilling second leg at Villa Park as Middlesbrough look to get back into the tie as soon as possible. Boro certainly have the players to hurt the hosts, but Villa are a very hard nut to crack on their own patch. This could be another very close affair between these two evenly matched teams, but Villa should just edge it on home turf.

Aston Villa to Win 1-0

Villa have been masters of protecting narrow leads in recent weeks, with three of their last four wins ending 1-0. The last two meetings between Villa and Boro have finished in 1-0 victories for the Villans, and we fancy another one on Tuesday. The 1-0 home win is available at 5/1.

Aston Villa to Win to Nil

Aston Villa have won without conceding on 16 occasions in all competitions this season. Also, each of their last five victories have all come with clean sheets. Back Villa to win to nil again on Tuesday at 12/5.

Lewis Grabban to Score First

Lewis Grabban had an outstanding season in the Championship, netting 20 goals combined for Sunderland and Villa. Have a punt on the striker to score first at 11/2.

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