West Bromwich Albion v Aston Villa Betting Tips & Predictions – Friday 7th December 2018

Dean Smith has got Villa scoring for fun lately and he’ll be hoping his men’s eye for goal can continue ahead of this important West Midlands derby. West Brom are not their most hated rivals but three points against them is always something to savour. The stakes are particularly high this time too with both sides well in the mix for Premier League promotion in a congested Championship table.

Villa’s fine patch of form has pushed them within three points of the play-off places. Once priced at odds of 8/1 to secure promotion, the Midlands outfit have now seen their odds cut to just 3/1. As for West Brom, they lie five points adrift of top spot following their draw with Brentford on Monday. By winning this Friday, it would help put the pressure on the two teams sat above them in the table and they will certainly hope to bounce back from that disappointing result on Monday.

Top Tips

Both teams to score @ 1/2

Over 3.5 goals @ 6/4

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

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West Bromwich Albion News: Bartley the only doubt

Evening Game at West Brom's The Hawthorns

Darren Moore has a near clean bill of health coming into this derby, with Kyle Bartley the only major figure likely to miss out through injury. The centre back has had to sit out the last five matches due to a knee problem and there has been no word that a return is imminent. Usually a regular start, he’s been a significant loss at the back for the Baggies since being sidelined. Previously unavailable was Crystal Palace loanee Bakary Sako but the 30-year-old will be fit enough to feature this Friday, should his manager select him in the match day squad.

Aston Villa News: Chelsea mulling Abraham recall

Villa Park Prior to Aston Villa Home Game
Jonathan Willier, flickr

Finding the net seven times in his last four matches has put Tammy Abraham on 11 goals for this season. Having hit such a rich vein of form, the on-loan striker is a player Dean Smith is desperate to hold on to for the duration of the campaign. Although a season long deal was penned in August, Chelsea have the option to recall the striker in January.

Given how misfiring their strikers have been this season, this is cause for genuine concern around Villa Park. So far the Blues have remained quiet on the issue but reports have emerged that they are in talks to bring him back next month and this would be a major blow to the Villans’ promotion push in 2019.

Smith keeps faith in Nyland

Orjan Nyland came under heavy fire from the Villa fans during the incredible 5-5 draw with Nottingham Forest last week. Frustrated with his display, many were calling for the Norwegian to be dropped against Middlesbrough at the weekend. Smith came to the rescue of his goalkeeper however saying that four of Forest’s goals were unstoppable and added that he’s pleased with the 28-year-old’s progress. Happy to stick with the usual number one keeper, Nyland started against Boro and ended up claiming a rather straightforward clean sheet.

Analysis: Villans gaining big game prowess

Aston Villa have faced some tough fixtures in recent weeks. Three of their last four clashes have seen them face off against teams seventh or above in the table. Having won two of them and drawn the other, the Midlands outfit will be confident of collecting more points in another crunch match. Expect them to show no fear in this game as they make a real effort to claim a highly valuable victory and really press their promotion credentials.

Villa can expose baggies frailties

West Brom ought to have been long out of sight against Brentford on Monday but their poor finishing and weakness at the back saw them drop two points. It's the third time in four games the Baggies have conceded late on as their wait for a clean sheet continues.

They haven't successfully shut out the opposition since a 2-0 win over Millwall in September so it's hard to see them keeping a rejuvenated Villa at bay. The odds of the visitors keeping a clean sheet seem equally slim however so both teams to score (1/2) is a must here. West Brom's total of 42 goals scored is the highest in the Championship and they are particularly deadly on home soil.

Result could go either way

West Brom come into the match having won three of the last four including the brilliant 4-1 hammering of promotion chasing Leeds. They are capable of performing to a high standard but face a real test of their abilities here against a Villa side boasting even better form. Dean Smith has completely turned the Villans around, amassing 13 points from the last five matches and scoring 17 goals in the process. It's a tough match to call as a result so you may be better served dipping into the ‘total goals’ market rather than picking a result. Both clubs are regularly able to find the net so we appear all set for an entertaining West Midlands derby with over 3.5 goals nicely priced to our mind (6/4).

Recent Matches

West Brom are six games unbeaten at the Hawthorns against their local rivals but both sides have drastically changed since their last meeting nearly three years ago. Things have changed so much following their respective relegations that it’s likely Craig Dawson will be the only man starting on Friday who made either of the starting XIs during their last clash.

23rd January 2016: West Bromwich Albion 0 – 0 Aston Villa

Rock bottom Aston Villa offered some improvements in this match but were unable to make their superior possession and efforts on goal pay. Ben Foster, back from a long-term injury, found himself rarely troubled as their local rivals lacked cutting edge once again. The visitors did at least show more initiative than the Baggies however, who lacked any sort of quality throughout the entire match.

19th September 2015: Aston Villa 0 – 1 West Bromwich Albion

Two weeks prior to this game, Sadio Berahino said he would never play again for West Brom after they denied him a move to Tottenham. His comments will have been forgiven here though as the Burundian scored the game’s only goal in the 39th minute. Villa never looked like getting back on level terms with manager Tim Sherwood after the game admitting that the Baggies deserved the win.

7th March 2015: Aston Villa 2 – 0 West Bromwich Albion

Villa made it to the semi-finals of the FA Cup in a game marred by fan disruption. Some Baggies fans were spotted throwing chairs onto the pitch while sections of the home faithful invaded the turf before the final whistle. It was otherwise a match to savour for the hosts who won the game thanks to goals from Fabian Delph and Scott Sinclair. Substitute Jack Grealish attempted to add to the tally but his brief cameo ended up with him being sent off.

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