ASTON VILLA travel to West Midlands rivals Wolves on Super Sunday. Matthew Kirby (@M_Kirby95) delivers his betting analysis.
Wolves v Aston Villa | Sunday 10th November 2019, 14:00 | Sky Sports
First up on Super Sunday is a West Midlands derby. It’ll be the first time since January 2012 that Wolves and Aston Villa have met in the top-flight – Villa ran out 3-2 winners.
However, Wolves have to recover from Thursday night’s late show where Raul Jimenez scored in stoppage-time to pick up a crucial 1-0 win over Slovan Bratislava.
If the legs are weary early on then Villa are one side that could well exploit any fatigue, but Dean Smith has an injury concern of his own with Jack Grealish only rated 50/50 to feature.
Grealish is an important cog in this Villa machine. He didn’t get an England call-up despite having three assists and a couple of goals to his name. It’ll be a blow if he’s unfit.
Fast starting Villa
If the Premier League table was based on half-time scores, then Aston Villa would be joint-top with Man City and Liverpool on 22 points. In stark contrast, Wolves would joint-bottom with just seven points and that’s just seen two goals scored before half-time.
So far, Villa have scored eight first-half goals and conceded just three, which is the joint-fewest with Man United.
One man who has caught the eye of many is John McGinn. The Scot ranks seventh for shots (32) and joint-fourth for shots on target (14), so expect him to get into advanced positions to test Rui Patrício.
Summer signing Wesley has scored four goals from 12 shots on target and the Brazilians hold-up play could be crucial in relieving pressure and bringing team-mates into the game.
Something that caught the eye was the fact that Villa led 1-0 at half-time in games at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, the Emirates and Carrow Road. That’s three half-time leads in five away games, which isn’t what you’d usually expect from a newly-promoted side, so that is something to factor into any bets.
Strong in the second half
While Villa may start quickly, it’s Wolves who see out games quite strongly. If the table was based on just second-half performances, then they’d have a record of six wins and five draws leaving them joint-second – Leicester would be top.
That’s the recurring theme with Nuno Espirito Santo’s side. Their last three league games have seen equalisers in the 61st, 73rd and 76th minutes respectively, while Thursday’s Europa League game saw a last gasp winner beat Slovan Bratislava.
Here at Molineux, Wolves have won just once in the league and that was against struggling Watford. Three of those have been 1-1 draws; although they did Raul Jimenez did net a hat-trick against Southampton – only for VAR to chalk two off.
So, if you expect this to play out like the stats, then Villa will be on top in the first-half with Wolves fighting back in the second.
Play your cards right
Anthony Taylor is a good referee for backers of cards. The Altrincham whistler has shown 73 yellows and three reds across 15 matches domestically and in Europe.
Four of his last five matches in all competitions have seen 60 or more Booking Points, which are big totals. He’s an official to target second half cards. All six cautions in Watford v Chelsea came after the break, while there were four in the second half in Liverpool’s 2-1 win over Spurs.
Looking towards the players involved then you may ask: Who has committed the most fouls in the league? Luka Milivojević I hear you say. No. It’s…. Wesley. The Villa forward has 26 fouls to his name, but he’s yet to receive a caution.
Another man to rate highly for fouls is Joao Moutinho. He’s committed 20 fouls, most of which will be tactical, yet he’s seen just one caution. With Taylor in charge, he might be one walking a tightrope.
Interestingly, Wesley is 5/1 with BetVictor for a card, while Moutinho is 7/1 with the same firm. Given their records for fouling, they could look be tempting singles.
Putting the pair in a double pays 40/1 with Bet365, and in what is sure to be an intense atmosphere, tensions could spill over.
This is an intriguing game on paper with plenty of appealing angles from a betting point of view. With a couple of big prices standing out from a stats point of view, I’m keen to side with them, especially a correct score that has landed in six of Wolves’ league games.
Wolves v Aston Villa – 1-1 Correct Score (13/2 Bet Victor)
Wolves v Aston Villa – Aston Villa HT/ Draw FT (17/1 Bet Victor)