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Aston Villa logo
Premier League | Gameweek 30
Mar 30, 2024 at 5.30pm UK
Villa Park
Wolves logo

Aston Villa
2 - 0

Diaby (36'), Konsa (65')
Tielemans (30'), Duran (84'), Digne (90+6')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Sarabia (19'), Chirewa (81'), Kilman (84'), Gomes (90+1')

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.

Champions League-chasing Aston Villa welcome fellow European hopefuls Wolverhampton Wanderers to Villa Park for a Premier League West Midlands derby on Saturday evening.

The two teams could not be separated the last time that they locked horns almost six months ago when they played out a 1-1 draw at Molineux.

Match preview

Aston Villa manager Unai Emery before the match on March 2, 2024© Reuters

Few Aston Villa supporters would have envisaged their club sitting in the top four with just nine Premier League games remaining, and while Unai Emery's side have every right to dream of securing Champions League qualification for the first time since its 1992 rebrand, a wobble in form prior to the international break has sounded the alarm bells.

The Lions suffered a heavy 4-0 home loss to top-four rivals Tottenham Hotspur just a week after rescuing a point in a 1-1 draw at West Ham United last time out, with Nicolo Zaniolo netting a 79th-minute equaliser to cancel out a first-half opener from Michail Antonio.

Villa currently sit fourth in the table and only three points ahead of fifth-placed Spurs, who have a game in hand, but Emery's men could swap places with the North Londoners before kicking a ball against Wolves if Ange Postecoglou's side beat Luton Town a few hours earlier on Saturday afternoon.

Earlier this season, Villa Park had developed into a fortress, but since the turn of the year, the Lions have lost three of their four home league games, as many as in Emery's first 23 such matches in charge. They have also conceded 11 goals during this run which is three more than they managed in their previous 10 home fixtures.

With challenging encounters against Manchester City and Arsenal on the horizon, Villa will be keen to return to winning ways this weekend, but success is not a given against Wolves as they have failed to win any of their last six Premier League meetings with the Old Gold.

Wolverhampton Wanderers manager Gary O'Neil reacts on February 25, 2024© Reuters

Wolves were unable to enter the international break on a high as they crashed out in the FA Cup quarter-finals at the expense of West Midlands rivals Coventry City, who claimed a dramatic 3-2 victory at Molineux.

The Old Gold thought they had won the enthralling encounter when Rayan Ait-Nouri and Hugo Bueno scored in the final 10 minutes to put the hosts 2-1 ahead, but Coventry scored twice in stoppage time, including a 100th-minute winner from Haji Wright, to send the second-tier outfit to Wembley for a semi-final showdown with Manchester United.

While a disappointed Gary O'Neil rued his side's missed opportunities, Wolves can now focus fully on their remaining 10 Premier League games as they endeavour to climb from their current position of ninth and reduce the three and six-point gaps that separate them from seventh-placed West Ham United and sixth-placed Man United respectively.

Wolves will hope to gain immediate control of proceedings in Saturday's contest if they wish to come out on top against Aston Villa and strengthen their European hopes, considering that they are unbeaten in their last 10 league matches in which they have scored the opening goal, winning each of the last seven in the process.

Since Christmas Eve, only Man City (30), Arsenal (28) and Liverpool (27) have picked up more Premier League points than Wolves (22), who will be looking to extend their unbeaten run at Villa Park to five matches this weekend.

Aston Villa Premier League form:

Aston Villa form (all competitions):

Wolverhampton Wanderers Premier League form:

Wolverhampton Wanderers form (all competitions):

Team News

Aston Villa's Leon Bailey celebrates scoring their fourth goal with teammates on February 22, 2024© Reuters

Aston Villa right-back Matty Cash is facing up to three weeks out with a hamstring injury sustained on international duty with Poland, and he joins Boubacar Kamara, Tyrone Mings and Emiliano Buendia (all knee) in the treatment room.

John McGinn is also unavailable as he will serve the second of his three-match ban this weekend, while Jacob Ramsey will have an ankle problem assessed ahead of kickoff.

After scoring twice for Belgium in a 2-2 friendly draw with England in midweek, Youri Tielemans will be pushing to start in midfield alongside Douglas Luiz, while Zaniolo, Jhon Duran and Moussa Diaby will all be battling for a start in attack alongside top scorer Ollie Watkins.

As for Wolves, key attacking duo Pedro Neto and Hwang Hee-chan are ruled out with hamstring injuries, but Matheus Cunha, Craig Dawson and Jean-Ricner Bellegarde could all be in a position to return to the matchday squad, pending a late fitness test.

With Wolves light in the attacking department, teenager Nathan Fraser could be handed his third successive start, while Pablo Sarabia is expected to get the nod in the final third.

Ait-Nouri was in fine form prior to the international break and the Moroccan is set to continue at left wing-back as Nelson Semedo operates on the opposite flank, while Joao Gomes, Tommy Doyle, Mario Lemina and Boubacar Traore will all compete for starts in centre-midfield.

Aston Villa possible starting lineup:
Martinez; Konsa, Carlos, Torres, Moreno; Bailey, Tielemans, Luiz, Zaniolo; Diaby; Watkins

Wolverhampton Wanderers possible starting lineup:
Sa; Kilman, Dawson, Toti; Semedo, Gomes, Doyle, Lemina, Ait-Nouri; Sarabia, Fraser

SM words green background

We say: Aston Villa 2-1 Wolverhampton Wanderers

Although Villa have found victories over Wolves hard to come by in recent years, we believe that they will find a way to come out on top this time around against an Old Gold outfit that may once again feel the absences of attacking duo Neto and Hwang.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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Wolverhampton Wanderers manager Gary O'Neil reacts on February 25, 2024
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Today's games header
Tables header RHS
1Manchester CityMan City32227376324473
4Aston Villa33196868491963
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs32186865491660
6Newcastle UnitedNewcastle321551269521750
7Manchester UnitedMan Utd32155124748-150
8West Ham UnitedWest Ham33139115258-648
10Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton321111105250244
11Wolverhampton WanderersWolves32127134651-543
14Crystal Palace3289153754-1733
17Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest3379174258-1626
18Luton TownLuton3367204670-2425
20Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd3237223084-5416

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