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Preview: Aston Villa vs. Wolverhampton Wanderers - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Premier League clash between Aston Villa and Wolverhampton Wanderers, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Both Aston Villa and Wolverhampton Wanderers will both be looking to bounce back from defeats when they lock horns at Villa Park in the Premier League on Saturday evening.

Villa will enter the contest off the back of a surprise 1-0 defeat to bottom-of-the-table Sheffield United, while Wolves suffered a 4-1 loss to runaway leaders Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.


Match preview

Aston Villa's Ollie Watkins shoots at goal during the Premier League clash with Sheffield United on March 3, 2021© Reuters

Villa's top-six hopes took a hit on Wednesday as they went down 1-0 at Sheffield United, with David McGoldrick's first-half effort proving to be the difference between the two sides at Bramall Lane.

A total of 39 points from 25 matches has left Dean Smith's side in ninth position in the table, level on points with eighth-placed Tottenham Hotspur and four points behind sixth-placed Liverpool, with a game in hand on the Reds, although the gap could be more by the time that the home side take to the field for this match.

Villa have won 12 league games this season, which is the same as Chelsea and Liverpool ahead of Thursday's fixtures, but they have lost 10 times, which is high considering their position in the table.

Smith's team will now be looking for back-to-back wins against Wolves and Newcastle United ahead of a home game with Tottenham on March 21, and it will be fascinating to see whether they are capable of finishing in a potential Europa League spot, which would represent an excellent season.

Villa, who have won five, drawn one and lost five of their home 11 league games this term, recorded a 1-0 victory when they travelled to Molineux for the reverse game back in December.

Wolverhampton Wanderers celebrate after Leeds United's Illan Meslier scores an own goal in the Premier League on February 19, 2021© Reuters

Wolves, meanwhile, will enter Saturday's contest off the back of a 4-1 defeat at Man City; the two sides were actually level heading into the final 10 minutes, but Pep Guardiola's side scored three times in the latter stages at the Etihad Stadium to continue their sensational winning run.

Nuno Espirito Santo's side have only lost one of their last six in the league - beating Southampton and Leeds United in two of their last four - while they drew 1-1 with Newcastle United last weekend.

Wolves have thus far not been able to challenge for a Europa League spot this season, but they are an improving side and currently sit just five points behind Villa, although Smith's side have two games in hand over their opponents here.

The 2017-18 Championship winners have also found it difficult on their travels this season, winning just four of their 14 matches and suffering seven defeats; that said, they recorded a 1-0 win at Villa Park when they travelled to Villa at the end of the 2019-20 campaign.

Aston Villa Premier League form: LWDLWL

Wolverhampton Wanderers Premier League form: WDWWDL
Wolverhampton Wanderers form (all competitions): DLWWDL


Team News

Jack Grealish in action for Aston Villa on February 3, 2021© Reuters

Villa will again be without the services of Kortney Hause and Matty Cash this weekend through injury, while Wesley will also not be involved despite recently returning to full-contact training.

Jack Grealish was again absent against Sheffield United on Wednesday night as he battles a shin problem, and the England international is also unlikely to be available for selection here, meaning that Anwar El Ghazi should retain his spot in the side.

Smith is expected to make changes from the side that started against Sheffield United, with Douglas Luiz and Ross Barkley coming back in, but Ollie Watkins will again operate at the tip of the attack.

As for Wolves, Nuno is expected to have the same squad available from the Man City game, with Fernando Marcal, Raul Jimenez and Daniel Podence all still on the sidelines through injury.

Willy Boly was back on the bench against the league leaders and is now in contention to start, but Leander Dendoncker could retain his spot at the back alongside Conor Coady and Romain Saiss.

Willian Jose was left out of the XI against the Citizens but should return to the side here, with Ki-Jana Hoever likely to drop out, and Adama Traore and Pedro Neto are set to continue in the final third.

Aston Villa possible starting lineup:
Martinez; Elmohamady, Konsa, Mings, Targett; Luiz, McGinn; Traore, Barkley, El Ghazi; Watkins

Wolverhampton Wanderers possible starting lineup:
Patricio; Dendoncker, Coady, Saiss; Semedo, Neves, Moutinho, Jonny; Traore, Willian Jose, Neto


SM words green background

We say: Aston Villa 1-1 Wolverhampton Wanderers

Villa will be determined to return to winning ways following a disappointing result against Sheffield United, but Wolves are certainly an improving team despite their heavy defeat at the Etihad Stadium; we are expecting a close contest on Saturday evening and are struggling to separate the two sides.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home/Away:data


Video prediction

Watch the Sports Mole Football Shorts prediction for this game below:


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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City33245469244577
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd32199464352966
3Leicester CityLeicester32185958372159
4Chelsea321510750311955
5West Ham UnitedWest Ham32167953421155
6Tottenham HotspurSpurs331581056381853
7Liverpool32158954381653
8Everton31147104340349
9Arsenal32137124436846
10Leeds UnitedLeeds32144145050046
11Aston Villa31135134435944
12Wolverhampton WanderersWolves32118133241-941
13Crystal Palace31108133352-1938
14Southampton32106164058-1836
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle3298153553-1835
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton32713123338-534
17Burnley3289152645-1933
18Fulham33512162543-1827
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom3259182862-3424
RSheffield UnitedSheff Utd3242261756-3914

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