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Big Match Breakdown: Aston Villa v Brentford

Nick Murphy | 22 August 2018

Preview, odds and tips for the Championship clash

Two of the Championship’s early pace-setters meet at Villa Park tonight as Aston Villa host Brentford live on Sky Sports Football and Sky Sports Main Event.

Both sides are among the favourites for promotion after enjoying unbeaten starts to the campaign. The Bees are 9/4 to reach the top-flight for the first time in their history, with Villa slightly further back at 11/4 following last year’s play-off heartbreak.

It should be a rip-roaring encounter in the Midlands. But who will come out on top in the 7:45pm kick-off? The Coral News Team is on hand with all the key indicators in a Big Match Breakdown.

Head-to-Head

This fixture has been all one-way traffic in the modern era. Brentford are unbeaten in four matches against the Villans since Steve Bruce’s men were relegated from the Premier League in 2016.

Dean Smith’s side have won two from two at Griffin Park, with both meetings at Villa Park ending all square. The two teams played out a 0-0 stalemate last season before the Bees edged the reverse 2-1 in West London on Boxing Day.

Likely XIs

Neither manager will be forced into any changes ahead of this evening’s encounter. Bruce is likely to keep with the same XI that started against Ipswich Town, but could swap Birkir Bjarnason for Conor Hourihane in the middle of the park.

It’s a similar scenario for Dean Smith, who has the option to include tricky central midfielder Ryan Woods from the off after his impressive cameo against Sheffield Wednesday on Sunday.

Villa vs Away team - Football tactics and formations

Key Battles

Villa will need to step things up this evening after a series of sluggish performances against the division’s poorer sides. If they don’t, they could be taught a footballing lesson by Smith and co.

The Bees are slick and incisive on the ball. Full-backs Axel Tuanzebe and Alan Hutton will be targeted by the visitors alongside makeshift centre-half Mile Jedinak. Marley Watkins, Neal Maupay and Sergi Canos took Wednesday apart at the weekend. They’ll be hoping to get similar joy here.

John McGinn has enjoyed a terrific start to his Villans career. He and the ever impressive Jack Grealish should cause problems for the visitors.

Match Odds

The hosts are the narrow favourites to win the match at 29/20, with Brentford at 19/10. It’s 12/5 that both sides continue their respective unbeaten runs and play out a draw.

Whatever the result, goals could be on the agenda. The visitors’ games have averaged four goals per game so far this season, with Villa a rung back at three goals per game. Over 2.5 Goals is 5/6.

Frenchman Maupay is considered the most likely man to get on the scoresheet. He’s scored three in three in the Championship so far this term and is 8/5 Anytime. It’s 9/2 he opens the scoring for the third time in four matches.

Villa’s eight goals so far this season have come via eight different players. Boy wonder Grealish is 11/5 to extend that run to nine Anytime.

Click here for the latest Aston Villa v Brentford odds from Coral.

Big match previews, betting tips and transfer news – Coral has it all.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing