Team news, stats and prediction ahead of Brentford vs Aston Villa in the Premier League on January 2; kick-off 2pm.
Brentford’s Vitaly Janelt could be involved against Aston Villa after recovering from coronavirus.
Otherwise the Bees have a clean bill of health for Covid-19, but Rico Henry is definitely out through injury.
Kristoffer Ajer and Bryan Mbeumo face late fitness tests while Christian Norgaard is back from suspension.
Aston Villa defender Tyrone Mings is banned after receiving his fifth yellow card of the season in the 3-1 defeat to Chelsea on Boxing Day.
John McGinn should be available after missing the Chelsea loss and returning to training on Friday but Ashley Young (fractured toe) is a major doubt.
Marvelous Nakamba (knee) and Leon Bailey (thigh) remain sidelined for boss Steven Gerrard, who is due to return to the dugout after catching Covid.
How to follow
Live Renault Super Sunday
Sunday 2nd January 1:00pm
Brentford vs Aston Villa is live on Sky Sports Premier League from 1pm; kick-off 2pm. Sky Sports customers can watch in-game clips in the live match blog on the Sky Sports website and app. Highlights will also be published on the Sky Sports digital platforms and the Sky Sports Football YouTube channel shortly after the final whistle.
Aston Villa have become one of the meanest defences in the Premier League since Steven Gerrard took charge.
It’s providing them with a fantastic base to work with in terms of getting positive results. Since the arrival of Gerrard in November, Villa have won four of their seven Premier League games with all three defeats coming against Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester City. In those four wins against Brighton, Crystal Palace, Norwich and Leicester they have averaged an expected goals against figure of 0.7 per game and faced an average of just 8.2 shots per game. Of course, it’s a small sample size but that’s a defensive record that puts them on par with Manchester City. The early signs are very positive for the future for Gerrard and his new club.
Meanwhile, Brentford are a robust side at home that don’t offer up many chances to their opposition, as Manchester City found out as they created just 1.04 expected goals against the Bees – the lowest total they’ve posted on the road this season. To have played City, Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal at home this season and to have the sixth-best home expected goals against output is a serious achievement for a newly-promoted side.
When you factor in both defences, a low scoring affair should be on the cards. Villa perhaps have that extra bit of quality in the final third so I’ve taken them to edge it.
SCORE PREDICTION: 0-1
BETTING ANGLE: Aston Villa to win and under 2.5 goals (4/1 with Sky Bet)
- Brentford are unbeaten in their last seven league games against Aston Villa (W3 D4), with all three of their victories coming in home games.
- After winning their first three away league games against Brentford (between 1935 and 1947), Aston Villa have lost their last three visits to the Bees in league competition (between 2017 and 2019).
- Aston Villa have won four of their last five Premier League away games against promoted sides (L1), more than they had in their previous 22 such games in the competition (W3 D8 L11).
- Aston Villa won 2-1 against Crystal Palace in their last Premier League game in London. Only once in their last eight campaigns in the competition (since 2011-12) have the Villans won consecutive games in the capital, winning at Fulham and Arsenal last season.
- Brentford won their first league game in both 2020 (4-0 v Bristol City) and 2021 (1-0 v Luton), last doing so in three consecutive calendar years between 1990 and 1992.