Two of the surprise stars from last season want to keep showing that their European achievement was not a flash in the pan. Few would have had Villa and Brighton to be playing in europe ahead of the likes of Chelsea and Spurs a year ago, but a wind change has blown through the Premier League.
Now it’s about doing it all again and the two teams face off at Villa Park looking to show everyone they’ll be back for more come May. It’s fair to say it’s been a case of so far so good as they look to leave their mark on another season as they get down to their other bit of business they worked so hard to secure.
Both sides are bang in form and have each now won four of their last five league games and it’s a battle of two teams packed full of confidence. Brighton may have lost their first Europa League battle, but when it comes to the bread and butter they’ve fully tuned and have started where they left off.
It started with two four-star performances against Luton Town and Wolves, before West Ham got in their way. But since then, Newcastle, Manchester United and Bournemouth have all been swatted aside with ease and despite a key departure or two, they look even stronger this time around.
After getting their hands on a Europa Conference League place, Aston Villa’s optimistic fans are wondering if they can actually make a top four case this time around and get into the Champions League conversation. Those watching at Chelsea on Sunday wouldn’t disagree as they built on victories against Crystal Palace, Burnley and Everton.
The big question ahead of this game is which side has enough left in the tank. Bothhad to play Wednesday night in the League Cup, Albion at Chelsea while Aston Villa went up against Everton – and both teams made changes.
The two clubs met on the final day of last season and goals from Douglas Luiz and Ollie Watkins in the first half were enough for Unai Emery to get his team over the line. They’ve won both their home games so far this season, while Albion have won their two games on the road.
In fact, so good are Villa in front of their own fans, they’ve won every home game since mid-February – that’s a nine game Villa Park winning run and they are desperate to make it ten. It’s a very hard one to call, especially as Roberto De Zerbi’s team are irresistible so far this season.
|Aston Villa to win||29/20 Bet365|
|Brighton to win||6/4 WilliamHill|
Our Punters.pub bet of the day is a draw at 13/5 with 888sport. Both teams have already begun their European adventure, both played on Wednesday night and both will be satisfied with their start – so could that point to stalemate in the early kick-off on Saturday?
Aston Villa’s incredible winning home run has to come to an end at some point and Brighton look as well equipped as anyone to bring that things crashing down this weekend.