Aston Villa

V

Villa Park

20/01/2018 | 3:00 pm

Barnsley

V

Villa Park

20/01/2018 | 3:00 pm

In a sentence: Aston Villa host Barnsley this weekend, in a game that should be cut and dry for the midlands side.

Last time: The reverse fixture saw Villa win 3-0 at Oakwell Stadium, despite Barnsley having the lion’s share of possession. Albert Adomah broke the deadlock in the first half, which he followed up by scoring a penalty in the 44th minute. With the game looking secure for the Villains, Keinan Davis drove the ball home for his first goal of the season, effectively ending the contest.

This time: Aston Villa are 4/7 to win, Barnsley 6/1 and a draw 3/1.

You might remember: The one time that this fixture was played in the Premier League, back in March 1998. The game ended with a rare Barnsley win, thanks to an early goal from Ashley Ward beating a Villa defence lead by the current England manager.

Team News

Betting Tips & Predictions

Aston Villa beat Bristol City 5-0 at Villa Park but lost at home in the FA Cup to Peterborough in their last outing

Villa come into this match on the back of three consecutive league wins, and know that one of promotion rivals Derby County or Bristol City will drop points this weekend. As a result they will be fired up against a Barnsley side that held league leaders Wolverhampton Wanderers to a draw in their last match.

Aston Villa are 4/7 favourites, and are sitting twenty points above their opponents coming into Saturday’s game. Having gone through a rough patch in December, Steve Bruce’s side have reaffirmed their promotion credentials, and are the only side to go unbeaten in the last three Championship games.

Barnsley are 6/1 to win, and have picked up their first three points in almost two months on New Years Day. The Tykes have been the picture of inconsistency so far this term, going through a great spell in autumn, with only one defeat in eight games, before going on a five match loosing streak. Heckingbottom’s side appears to be going through a good spell at the moment, and are unbeaten in four. If they are to beat Villa, the speed of Tom Bradshaw will be key, especially against a back four that is lacking pace.

A draw is 3/1, and given Barnsley’s recent 0-0 against Wolves, this may be a likely outcome. Heckingbottom will likely set up in a very similar way against Villa, allowing Bruce’s side to retain possession and hit them on the counter.

Scott Hogan is 11/8 to score, having done so against Nottingham Forest and Peterborough in his last two matches. The former Brentford man will be Villa’s main striker following Kodjia’s injury and will have to step up to justify this responsibility.

Tom Bradshaw is 22/5 to score against Villa, and will carry the attacking burden for Barnsley as a lone striker. The Welsh forward is the Tykes top scorer this term, with eight goals to his name.

Match Summary

1

Look out for:

Robert Snodgrass. The right winger has been Villa’s best player in his last three games, and has contributed three goals and an assist in his last three games. With his long shooting ability, he will be a valuable asset against a deep-lying defence.

2

We fancy:

Villa to win and keep a clean sheet at 11/8. Barnsley aren’t expected to be too expansive at Villa Park and that could play into Villa’s hands.

3

It’s a long shot, but:

Ethan Pinnock, who has the best games/goal ratio at Barnsley, to score at 25/1. The towering defender will be a threat from any set-pieces Barnsley can muster.

Written by Greg Murray

Greg Murray focused on watching football rather than playing it after realising he wasn’t going to be the next Gianfranco Zola. Writing prolifically on Italian football while keeping an eye on the game around the world, Greg has also turned his pen to the aviation industry and the betting market.