Aston Villa vs. Brighton Betting Tips: 40/1 double for Villa Park European decider
Aston Villa aim to follow in Brighton's footsteps by securing European football for next season in this Premier League top seven clash on the final day.
The Seagulls confirmed a spot in next season's Europa League competition with a well fought draw against champions Manchester City on Wednesday. That point also marks Brighton's highest ever finish, guaranteeing them sixth place and showcasing the monstrous efforts by Roberto De Zerbi and his team since arriving in September.
Looking beyond their first top 10 PL finish since the 2010/11 campaign, Villa have the Europa Conference League set firmly in their sights. Destiny is in AVFC's hands as a win ensures qualification over Tottenham, while bettering Spurs' result would also see Emery's side enter the competition.
Aston Villa vs Brighton Tips
With all of the emphasis being on Aston Villa, home player fouls seems like a smart play.
The first culprit we're backing to commit at least one foul at Villa Park on Sunday is Matty Cash. The Polish international has started six of the last seven matches since his injury troubles, with Emery getting a good sample size for the right-back in action.
Cash had a busy day at the office last weekend when marking Luis Diaz at Anfield where he committed two fouls. That means he's met this line in three of his last four starts which also stretches to four across his most recent six.
Sunday afternoon could see him directly facing Kaoru Mitoma - one of the most skilled dribblers in the division who has drawn 10 fouls across his last six matches.
Following in the footsteps of Mason Mount, Bukayo Saka, Marcus Rashford and Trent Alexander-Arnold, Academy Graduate award winner Jacob Ramsey is rightly enjoying plaudits for a stellar season in B6.
The 21-year-old - who scored on his 100th Aston Villa appearance last time out - has become an instrumental part of Villa's midfield, providing verve in attacking moves and a physical approach that compliments the defensive aspects of his game.
It's these contributions in front of his own goal that we're focused on as the England U21 captain has given away a foul in each of his last three games. This results in at least one foul in nine of his last 11 games, and with Brighton's midfield being the pillar to their success, his enthusiasm to send his boyhood club to European football next season should see him commit a foul here.
The magnitude of this occasion for local lad Jacob Ramsey is a good inroad for him receiving a card. The midfielder has been cautioned on four occasions in the Premier League this term and he's one player that won't require geeing up for Sunday.
As well as potentially being booked for his defensive contributions, there's also the possibility of celebrations costing Ramsey a card. He's found the net in back-to-back games and a third successive goal to send his side into Europe could result in his shirt coming off or more likely him jumping into the Holte End as his emotions take full control.
In Ollie Watkins' case, he's had a difficult time in front of goal following the brace against Newcastle which put Villa right in the European mix. He no longer appears to be going under the radar for opposition teams, who have successfully managed to nullify his threat.
Villa's number 11 has also been entered into the referee's book four times like teammate Ramsey, but half of those have come in his last three. Whether it's stepping up and being counted in the bigger games or it's his frustrations at a goal drought, Sunday's fixture with Brighton will demand a committed Watkins in both attack and defence.
De Zerbi's build up from the back and Ollie's pressing from the front make this a suitable dynamic for Watkins fouls. He's performed at least one in eight of his last 11 and could see a further couple of nibbles punished at Villa Park on match day 38.