West Brom vs Aston Villa, 07 Dec 2018
West Brom and Aston Villa lock horns on Friday evening in the opening match of this round of English Championship. West Brom is sitting in 3rd place of English Championship 4 points ahead of their local rivals, but Villa are free-scoring lately and we can expect an entertaining match with plenty of goals and action.
This will be the first West Midland Derby match between West Bromwich and Aston Villa since a scoreless draw in January 2016, and their 168th in clubs’ history. Aston Villa was more successful in the past, and won 77 compared to Wes Brom’s 54 games, with 36 ending without a winner.
A draw was the usual outcome of two sides’ recent meetings – in last 20 league games, 9 games were ties, while more than half games at The Hawthorns since 2000 finished in draws – 6 out of 10.
West Brom welcome Villa after being held to draw by Brentford in their last match, but they are generally in fine form since beating promotion rivals Leeds United 4-1 at The Hawthorns in early November. Win against Leeds was the one which ended mini-crisis of four games without a win, and since then West Brom is unbeaten in four games.
Aston Villa go to this match on the wings of 3-0 win against Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium, which was their fourth consecutive match in which they managed to score 3 or more goals – they scored 3 in 3-0 wins away at Derby County and Middlesbrough, with 4 goals in 4-2 win against Birmingham and 5 in crazy 5-5 draw against Nottingham Forest.
Both sides are playing some great football this season. West Brom was one of the most boring sides in the Premier League in the last couple of seasons, but they are a different story in the Championship and under Darren Moore’s lead. Aston Villa, as mentioned earlier, is also a joy to watch in the last couple of weeks, especially for the neutrals, and this Friday evening should bring us a decent match.
Both sides should be fighting for promotion comes the end of the season, if not for the top two spots, than for a playoff spot at least, so this match is important for both sides. In terms of points, as games between WBA and Villa are always important anyway.
West Brom will have the home advantage, but guests’ recent free-scoring form simply can't be underestimated. According to bookmakers, West Brom is slight favorites in this match and are available at 5/4 at William Hill, which is probably a fair price, but over 2.5 goals at 1.60 also at William Hill looks like a safe bet.