Two teams who’ve been putting in some strong performances of late collide in the Premier League this weekend, as Brighton and Hove Albion host Aston Villa at the Amex Stadium. The ninth-placed Villans are currently flying 10 points higher than the Seagulls in 15th heading into this clash, while the visitors also have two games in hand over their hosts on Saturday night.
Where and when: Amex Stadium – 13 February, kick-off 20:00
Where you can see Brighton vs. Aston Villa: Sky Sports
Last time: Ezri Konsa cancelled out Danny Welbeck’s early strike when these teams met at Villa Park in November, but Brighton retook the lead through Solly March and held on for a 2-1 win.
Brighton v Aston Villa Predictions and Preview
Disappointingly for Brighton, March has been ruled out for the majority of the season after injuring his knee in last week’s spectacular 1-0 victory away to champions Liverpool. It’s a real blow for the Seagulls, but that result at Anfield and their current form should give the hosts plenty of hope they can beat an in-form Aston Villa side this weekend.
The Villans are riding high in the top half of the Premier League table though and are well in contention for European places. Dean Smith’s side showed their quality with a superb and well-deserved victory over Arsenal last time out, serving as another milestone in their improvement from last season along with results like their stunning 7-2 thrashing of Liverpool earlier in the campaign.
Brighton’s victory over the champions was much closer but still very much deserved. Graham Potter has a great footballing philosophy and the Seagulls have bravely stuck to their guns through some trying times this season. They’ve been rewarded with a rise up the Premier League table, and they now have a 10-point cushion to the relegation zone.
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Aston Villa to win and BTTS
Aston Villa to win 2-0
Watkins to score first
The home team enter this Brighton v Aston Villa preview unbeaten in their last five Premier League fixtures. The Seagulls have won three of those games, all by a 1-0 scoreline, with impressive victories over Leeds and Tottenham to go along with their triumph at Anfield. Even so, Brighton start as the slight 7/4 underdogs with William Hill in the latest odds for this game.
Part of the reason for that is Potter’s side having to negotiate a tough FA Cup tie away to Leicester on Wednesday night. Villa are out of the cup and therefore have four more days to rest and prepare for this game. The visitors are 8/5 for the win on Saturday night, while the draw’s available at 5/2.
One to watch for Brighton: Neal Maupay has been in good form recently, scoring the decisive goal against Leeds last month. That was the Frenchman’s seventh Premier League strike of the campaign, and he is 19/4 to open the scoring in this one with his eighth.
One to watch for Aston Villa: Ollie Watkins reached double figures in his debut Premier League campaign in netting the winning goal against Arsenal last weekend. The English striker has scored in four of his last five appearances, and is 21/4 to break the deadlock in these Brighton v Aston Villa predictions.
Long shot: Both teams have scored in each of the last seven meetings between these sides. Villa have netted 12 goals in that spell, while Brighton have bagged nine. The Villans have been in great form recently and are 9/1 to reverse their 2-1 defeat to the Seagulls from a couple of months ago. Those odds rise to 65/1 with Watkins scoring the first goal.