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Wolverhampton vs Aston Villa match preview

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LACKING consistency, Wolverhampton Wanderers’ previous six Premier League (PL) matches have all produced a different result from the one before (W2, D2, L2). Worryingly, their defeat to Liverpool (December 6) was their second 4-0 loss of the season, but they are at least unbeaten when scoring first this term (W5, D1) as they head into this West Midlands derby.

  Undefeated in four home league matches (W2, D2), and with three goalless at HT, it’s little surprise Molineux is yet to witness a 2020/21 PL goal inside the first 15 minutes. Encouragingly, Wolves have won the last three league H2Hs here after scoring first, and they have received a league-low average of 0.6 bookings per PL home game this season ahead of this round.

  Aston Villa’s aversion to drawing continues, and they are yet to finish a competitive game level this season (W7, L5), although four defeats in five PL matches – albeit three via a one-goal margin – is concerning. While the last three competitive H2Hs were also decided by a one-goal margin (Villa: W1, L2), none saw the away side on the day net before HT.

  Yet to concede a PL goal after the 75th minute anywhere, Villa also haven’t conceded a league goal away from home after the 50th minute. Additionally, their strong PL away form (W3, L1) owes much to them keeping three clean sheets in four such matches – each producing a win ‘to nil’.

  Players to watch: With Raúl Jiménez absent, Wolves need goals from other sources such as Pedro Neto, whose three PL strikes this term all came as his team’s first goalscorer. Although he’s never faced a senior Wolves side, Villa’s Jack Grealish could threaten the hosts after scoring two away league goals in or before the 25th minute.

  PREDICTION: OVER 1.5 MATCH GOALS

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