Saturday 26th February 2022
@AMEX Stadium, Brighton
KO: 15:00 GMT
Aston Villa make the trip down to the south coast today in need of something from the game against Brighton and Hove Albion.
Villa’s abysmal 1-0 defeat at home to Watford last week means they have picked up just one win in their last seven games and if form does not pick up very quickly they could conceivably find themselves being dragged down towards the bottom three.
Brighton have six points from their last six games but only one win and come into the game off the back of a 2-0 defeat away to Manchester United and a 3-0 loss at home to Burnley.
However, Graham Potter has impressed as manager and the Seagulls sit on 33 points and in tenth place which marks a fantastic return with 13 games still to play.
Villa boss Steven Gerrard has called out the performance levels and effort of some in recent weeks and he will know he needs to get them firing again as soon as possible to stave off any concerns of a drop down the table and start planning ahead for his first full pre season ahead of the 2022-23 campaign in which he, the board and the fans will have much higher expectations.
Aston Villa won the league meeting earlier in the season with a 2-0 victory which also happened to be Gerrard’s first game in charge. Villa scored two late goals through Ollie Watkins and Tyrone Mings.
Brighton Team News
Graham Potter will be unable to call upon arguably their best defender in Adam Webster (groin) and Jeremy Sarmiento (hamstring) and Enock Mwepu (hamstring) will also miss out.
Possible starting line up:
Sanchez, Cucurella, Dunk, Duffy, Lamptey, Lallana, Bissouma, Moder, Gross, Maupay, Trossard
Aston Villa Team News
Manager Steven Gerrard will be able to recall central defender Ezri Konsa who returns after a two-game suspension.
Bertrand Traore (hamstring) is likely to miss out again and Marvelous Nakamba (knee) is the only long-term absentee.
Again, there could be some changes to the predicted line up simply due to the recent poor form so it will be interesting to see who he chooses to start up front as well as potential changes to the midfield.
Possible starting line up:
Martinez, Digne, Mings, Konsa, Cash, Douglas Luiz, McGinn, Ramsey, Buendia, Coutinho, Watkins
Brighton are credited for possession football and use their wingers to create the majority of chances.
They have really impressed in numerous games this season for their attractive football but consistency has been their downfall.
They are particularly strong at defending the lead and are pretty high up in regards to teams coming back from losing positions.
In regards to attacking, 15 of the 25 goals scored by Brighton have come from open play with 6 goals coming from set pieces, 3 from penalties and a solitary own goal.
39% of their attacks have come down the left wing with 37% down the right-hand side and only 23% centrally as they look to utilise the likes of Marc Cucurella and Tariq Lamptey as much as possible.
69% of their shots have come centrally with 56% coming from inside the 18-yard box, 40% outside of the box and just 4% inside the six-yard box.
Defensively, Brighton have conceded 28 goals with 17 from open play, 7 goals from set pieces, 2 from counter attacks and 2 from penalties.
64% of the shots conceded from opposition sides have come centrally with 54% of shots being inside the 18-yard box, 40% coming from outside the box and 6% within the six-yard box.
Neal Maupay is the top scorer with 8 goals and both Jakub Moder and Enock Mwepu top the assists chart with three each.
Brighton are 16th in the ‘home table’ with 3 wins, 5 draws and 4 defeats in comparison to Aston Villa who sit 12th in the away table with 4 wins, 0 draws and 8 losses on the road (the joint second most defeats on the road within the league).
Head to Head record:
Brighton 5 wins, 9 Draws, Aston Villa 14 wins
Last five meetings:
20 Nov 2021 – Aston Villa 2-0 Brighton (Premier League)
13 Feb 2021 – Brighton 0-0 Aston Villa (Premier League)
21 Nov 2020 – Aston Villa 1-2 Brighton (Premier League)
18 Jan 2020 – Brighton 1-1 Aston Villa (Premier League)
19 Oct 2019 – Aston Villa 2-1 Brighton (Premier League)
AVILLAFAN MATCH PREDICTION
Both teams will want the win with Villa needing the points more during what should have been a period to pick more points up.
The first goal will be big in this one.
Brighton 1-1 Aston Villa
Tip of the day
If you back the score prediction, the 1-1 draw is available at around 5/1 currently.
Brighton win – 11/10
Draw – 23/10
Aston Villa win – 13/5
With the press of the two wing backs for Brighton, I can see bookings so I’ve gone with something a bit different this week.
I also have a feeling one of the centre halves will score from a set piece (long overdue).
Tyrone Mings is 50/1 to score any time and 20/1 first or last goalscorer.
Ezri Konsa is 22/1 to score any time and 9/1 first or last goalscorer.
Matty Cash is 16/5 to be booked.
If you create a bet builder (numerous sites run these) you can get Tyrone Mings to score anytime and Matty Cash to be booked at 75/1 or Ezri Konsa to score anytime and Matty Cash to be booked at the value.
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