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Aston Villa v Leeds Tips: Stalemate on the cards at Villa Park

Aston Villa v Leeds tips: Dean Smith and Marcelo Bielsa lock horns in this Friday's Premier League showdown
Aston Villa v Leeds tips: Dean Smith and Marcelo Bielsa lock horns in this Friday's Premier League showdown

The first Friday Night Football of the season in the Premier League features two sides who have kicked off their respective campaigns promisingly, with hosts Aston Villa currently second in the table having won each of their opening four matches. We've got three football tips for the action, which kick's off at 8pm and will be shown live on Sky Sports Box Office.

Leeds sit 10th as things stand after two wins, two losses and a draw, but have demonstrated their quality in the top-flight with impressive displays against Liverpool and Manchester City. 

Villa head into this match-up as the bookmaker favourites, given an implied chance of 45% for the win with their odds of 6/5, while Leeds are priced at 21/10 in the Premier League betting - an implied percentage chance of 32%.

Dean Smith’s side left it late to clinch all three points in their last game against Midlands rivals Leicester last weekend, with Ross Barkley’s stunning long range effort maintaining the Villans’ perfect start. 

Leeds, meanwhile, went down 1-0 to Wolves in their previous outing on Monday evening, so will need to pick themselves up and dust themselves off to ensure they avoid another defeat away from home. 

The Whites have been dealt a huge injury blow this week after star midfielder Kalvin Phillips was ruled out for up to six weeks after sustaining a shoulder injury against Wolves. Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa has confirmed that Dutchman Pascal Struijk will replace Phillips in the heart of midfield for this clash. 

The visitors will also be without Gaetano Berardi, Adam Forshaw and Diego Llorente who are all missing through injury, while Liam Cooper is a doubt after he sustained a groin injury whilst away on international duty with Scotland. Villa will be without long-term absentees Wesley and Tom Heaton, while Kortney Hause and Keinan Davies are both doubts. 

 

Aston Villa v Leeds
Fri - 20:00
Full-time draw
Both sides have started this season well, and I expect the quality to be evenly balanced and therefore both teams should cancel each other out.
Odds correct as of 2020-10-22 11:55 Odds subject to change.

My first bet is simply a full-time draw. Little to say regarding this selection aside from the fact that both sides have started brightly, with Villa storming the division so far having won all four of their opening games. 

Dean Smith’s side are definitely the league’s in-form side and I don’t see them getting beaten here, but Leeds will prove stiff opposition and although they lost their last game, the personnel they have available and style of football they are displaying suggests to me that they will get something out of this match.

Leeds have only drawn one game so far - against Manchester City before the international break - and have only conceded two goals in their last three league games. The defeat against Wolves was a narrow one and I expect them to come into this match with the bit between their teeth to ensure they don’t lose back-to-back games.

Villa, though, have been excellent so far and have also shown great resilience at the back by keeping three clean sheets in their opening four games, so I don’t see them allowing Leeds a route into this match. A draw could well be on the cards here and at 5/2, I like the look of this play.

Aston Villa v Leeds
Fri - 20:00
John McGinn to be carded; Ross Barkley & Jack Grealish 1+ shot on target
  • McGinn is Villa's most-booked player with 3 yellows in 20/21
  • Grealish and Barkley have both registered 3 SOT in first 4 games
Odds correct as of 2020-10-22 13:45 Odds subject to change.

My second bet is an all-Villa affair, with Jack Grealish and Ross Barkley both to register a shot on target and John McGinn to be carded at 12/1 (boosted from 8/1) with Betfair.

Scotland international McGinn is Villa’s most carded player so far with three yellows to his name in just four outings! He loves a strong tackle and in the thick of things against a robust Leeds midfield I can see him potentially etching his name into the ref’s notebook for the fourth time this season.

Premier League Betting

Onto the shots, and Villa’s new arrival Ross Barkley has settled into his new surroundings really well by scoring two goals in his first four games, with his latest effort coming in the shape of a fantastic long range strike in last weekend’s dramatic win over Leicester. Barkley has registered three shots on target so far, and with confidence high I reckon he could be set to improve on that tally here.

The same can be said for Grealish, who has also registered three shots on target so far and averages 2.3 shots per game. The 24-year-old has been one of the standout performers in the Premier League so far and I can see him causing Leeds some problems.

Aston Villa v Leeds
Fri - 20:00
Ollie Watkins & Patrick Bamford 2+ shots on target; Mateusz Klich to be carded
  • Watkins has registered 5 SOT in 4 games for Villa
  • Bamford has registered 7 in 5 games for Leeds
  • Klich is a tough tackler and averages 1.4 fouls p.g (1 yellow)
Odds correct as of 2020-10-22 13:45 Odds subject to change.

Rounding my tips off I’ve plucked out a 55/1 (boosted from 50/1) Same Game Multi for the optimists out there.

Ollie Watkins is Villa’s biggest attacking threat. The Englishman has scored three goals in four so far this term and averages 2.8 shots per game, with five of those landing on target. I expect him to test Illan Meslier at Villa Park.

Like Watkins is for Villa, Bamford is Leeds’ biggest goalscoring threat and has found the net three times this season. Bamford has registered a whopping seven shots on target in five games, and has also averaged an impressive 2.8 shots per game in 20/21. He goes into this three-pronged-punt to have 2 or more SOT with little hesitation.

To really boost the odds in this longshot I’ve included Leeds midfielder Mateusz Klich to be carded. The Poland international averages 1.4 fouls per game, second only to teammate Robin Koch in that department, and he should be right in the middle of things in this one. 

Directly up against Villa's John McGinn, who as previously mentioned has picked up three yellow cards already this season, there should be plenty of firm challenges flying in at Villa Park and hopefully that results in Klich picking up his second yellow of the campaign.

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