A Bruising Midlands Derby On The Cards As Aston Villa Face Wolves

This Sunday, we will see Aston Villa square off against Wolves for the second time in the past few weeks. Villa won their previous meeting in the EFL Cup, and Wolves will be hoping for some redemption.

This encounter will be the 128th meeting between the two Midland-based clubs. Villa have a better head to head record over their opponents, having won four, drawn three, and losing just once in the eight top-flight matches between the two rivals.

Aston Villa will be hoping that they at least take a point from the clash on Sunday. They are in need of a win after that last gasp loss to the Liverpool, last weekend, and will be hurting. Having led 1-0 up until the 87th minute to eventually lose 2-1 will rankle.

Wolves will be hoping to build upon their win last time out at Slovan Bratislava in the Europa League, and their away draw to Arsenal in their last Premier League game was also a massive confidence booster.

The two sides haven’t faced each other in the league since the 2017-18 season, in which Wolves were promoted under Nuno Santos. Aston Villa won their last meeting 4-1 at Villa Park though Wolves eventually lifted the EFL Championship. The Lions lost to Fulham that very year in the playoffs and failed to join Wolves in the top flight, but they did redeem themselves twelve months later.

Villa will have a changed look to their starting lineup to the one that beat Wolves in the EFL Cup. Tom Heaton will come back into the lineup and replace Jed Steer. The backline will be patrolled by Guilbert, Engles, Mings and Targett.

Jack Grealish is still expected to miss this clash with his calf injury, even though he is making good progress. Either one of Conor Hourihane or Henri Lansbury could take replace Grealish.

Expect Wesley to feature in the centre-forward role, and he will hope to build upon his four goals in 11 games this season.

For Wolves, Rui Patricio will come back into the team between the posts to replace John Ruddy. With Wily Body out injured, I presume they will play a backline consisting of Jonny, Dendoncker, Coady and Doherty. Romain Saïss will also step in to shore up the backline.

The attack will be led by Mexican-forward, Raúl Jiménez. The match-winner in the Europa league midweek. Adama Traore will come up against his former employees, complemented by Diogo Jota bursting up the opposing flank.

The question we will be all asking as we watch this match unfold is, who will be crowned ‘Best of the Midlands’ until the next encounter? I am predicting a bruising draw. With Aston Villa taking a first-half lead before Wolves pegging them back to share the spoils.

Prediction: Aston Villa 1 – 1 Wolves

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