14/1 West Brom or 14/1 Aston Villa to win
West Brom vs Aston Villa betting preview
WBA have lost just four league games at the Hawthorns this seasonWest Brom were 1-0 up until the 70th minute at Villa Park on Saturday but conceded twice in the final 20 minutes. Anyway, their 2-1 defeat leaves everything still to play for with the second game back at the Hawthorns where they have won 5 of the last 6 games. Furthermore, the Baggies have scored at least 2 goals in their last 5 home matches in the Championship. As to direct encounters, WBA currently sit unbeaten in seven games at home against their Midlands rivals (W2 D5).
The Baggies will be without star man Dwight Gayle after he picked up two needless yellow cards in the first leg. Hal Robson Kanu is also suspended for kicking out at Derby County's Bradley Johnson on the final day of the regular campaign. That means Jay Rodriguez will play as central striker, flanked by Matt Phillips and Jacob Murphy. Craig Dawson will be assessed after leaving the field due to illness just after half-time, with Jake Livermore also a doubt.
Aston Villa have lost just once in 14 fixturesAston Villa hold a 2-1 advantage coming into their Championship play-off semi-final second leg as goals from Conor Hourihane and Tammy Abraham cancelling out Dwight Gayle’s opener. They recorded a run of 10 wins on the spin in the last two months, a streak that lift them them into the playoffs, before taking their foot off the gas in their final two matches. The Villans' record away from home this season is not exactly wonderful – with nine wins from 23 in the Championship.
It would not be a surprise to see Villa's manager Dean Smith line up with almost the same starting XI which began last weekend. The only change couls see Conor Hourihane starting as playmaker, with Glenn Whelan dropping on the bench. Albert Adomah and Jack Green are in contention for the right winger berth while Jack Grealish and Anwar El Ghazi will continue to support the lone striker Tammy Abraham up front. At the back, James Chester remains doubtful meaning that Tyrone Mings and Axel Tuanzebe will retain their place at the heart of the defense. Orjan Nyland is the only sidelined player.
West Brom vs Aston Villa Starting LineupsWest Brom County (3-4-3): Johnstone; Holgate, Bartley, Hegazi; Mears, Brunt, Johansen, Gibbs; Phillips, Rodriguez, Murphy
Aston Villa (4-5-1): Steer; Elmohamady, Tuanzebe, Mings, Taylor; Green, McGinn, Hourihane, Grealish, El Ghazi; Abraham
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