Big Game Focus: West Brom v Aston Villa

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A place in the Championship playoff final is at stake when West Brom host Aston Villa at the Hawthorns. Dean Smith’s men head into this clash with a 2-1 advantage and the hosts will need to be at their absolute best to win this match. Bet on the game here.

The Baggies made a dream start at Villa Park on Saturday and took the lead in through a clinical Dwight Gayle finish, but Villa’s Conor Hourihane and Tammy Abraham netted in the final 15 minutes to give the hosts a massive advantage. The home side will have to produce an extraordinary performance to reach the final.

Villa produced a magnificent second-half to register a vital win against the Baggies. Villa are in good form and have lost just one match in 13, a run which included ten consecutive wins. Therefore, they’ll be very confident heading into this monumental showdown.

Betting preview

Aston Villa are undefeated in 13 of their last 14 matches in the Championship. The hosts have also only beaten them twice in the last seven matches. West Brom have also drawn five of their last six home matches against Aston Villa in all competitions. Therefore, you can back an Away Double Chance at odds of 1.45.

This fixture has always been closely contested. The playoffs are usually tightly fought and decided by fine margins. Six of the last seven matches between these teams has seen Under 3.5 Goals scored. Hence, odds of 1.40 for Under 3.5 Goals look appealing.

West Brom are the second best attack in the Championship and have scored in 96 per cent of their home matches this season. Villa have scored in their last 14 matches in the Championship. Therefore, you can back Both Teams to Score at odds of 1.55.

Team news

West Brom will be without top-scorer Gayle for the second leg as he was sent off late on in the first leg. His suspension will also rule him out of the final at Wembley, should Albion get there.

Smith does not have any injury concerns.

Possible line-ups

West Brom: Johnstone, Holgate, Bartley, Hegazi, Mears, Brunt, Johansen, Gibbs, Phillips, Rodriguez, Murphy

Aston Villa: Steer, Elmohamady, Tuanzebe, Mings, Taylor, Green, McGinn, Hourihane, Grealish, El Ghazi, Abraham