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Preston North End vs Aston Villa Predictions

  • 15:00
  • Expired
  • Deepdale
Preston
Aston Villa

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Tip Reasoning

These sides played out a 6 goal thriller at Villa Park earlier this term and that was before the Villans dispensed with Steve Bruce for the more attack-minded Dean Smith. There’s every chance we will see another entertaining game here as Preston look to bounce back from a Boxing Day defeat.

They were beaten 2-1 by Hull at Deepdale as Alex Neil’s side suffered their first home league defeat since September. Following on from a loss at Hillsborough, it hasn’t been a great festive period for Preston so far but they are in a much better position now than they were when they last faced Villa. That 3-3 draw in the Second City sparked the start of a 9 match unbeaten run which saw Preston climb out of the drop-zone and put some distance between themselves and the bottom three.

Villa are also looking much better nearly three months on though with Dean Smith producing both style and substance. His side bounced back well from late heartbreak against Leeds by grinding out a 1-0 win at Swansea on Boxing Day with Orjan Nyland the unlikely hero with a late penalty save. He will still most likely be out of the team come January when Croatian keeper Lovre Kalinic becomes available to play following his recent transfer to Villa Park.

This could be a tougher test for Nyland and a makeshift Villa defence which is likely to see full-back James Bree play at centre-back again. Swansea almost played into Villa’s hands with their patient passing style but Smith’s side are vulnerable to crosses into the box and Preston will most likely be much more direct here than the Welsh side. Villa have the Championship’s joint 6th worst defensive record with 1.54 goals per game conceded although they are up against one of the few sides to have conceded more than them here.

Goals certainly look likely. 83% of Preston’s home league games this season have seen both teams score with an average of 3.92 goals per game at Deepdale. Villa meanwhile are the Championship’s second highest scorers with 71% of their games producing goals at each end. Overall backing Over 2.5 Goals & Both Teams to Score looks a solid bet and it’s one that has landed in 5 of Villa’s last 7 matches.

Backing Tammy Abraham to Score Anytime also looks good. The Englishman is in fine form with 9 goals in his last 8 appearances and Villa will be desperate to keep him for the rest of the season with rumours swirling that he could be recalled or even sold by Chelsea in January.

Overall the visitors look the more likely victors despite some selection problems. They coped admirably without the likes of Jack Grealish at Swansea and the firepower that Villa have in attack could be enough to see them edge this. With 10 points from their last 4 away games, backing Aston Villa Draw No Bet appeals and it’s worth noting that Preston haven’t beaten a current top half team at home since their win over QPR on the opening day.

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