Aston Villa vs Derby County
Monday 27 May 2019
The Championship Play-Off Final, Wembley Stadium
Live on Sky Sports Football HD – Kick-Off: 15:00 GMT
Aston Villa vs Derby County: Aston Villa and Derby County go head to head in ‘the richest game in football’ with a Premier League place and a rumoured windfall of £180m at stake.
Dean Smith’s side enter this game having beaten West Brom in the semi-finals on penalties, after a 2-2 draw on aggregate. Villa’s performance at the Hawthorns wasn’t the best, as they lost 1-0, but they still managed to edge past their West Midlands rivals. Having beaten Derby 3-0 and 4-0 in the league season, they come into this match as favourites. Their hopes of reaching the promised land rest in the hands of their key players, Tammy Abraham, Jack Grealish and Tyrone Mings. Without the trio, Villa would still be languishing in mid-table. They also know that if they fail to secure promotion all three won’t be at the club next year. With Financial Fair Play restrictions looming, Smith would have completely rebuild this side for next season, should they lose.
Frank Lampard’s men come into this game on a high after their phenomenal comeback against Leeds United. Despite tailing the tie 2-0 on aggregate, they came back with three goals in 15 minutes to win 4-2 at Elland Road and progress 4-3. Jack Marriott’s equalised with his first touch before bagging the winner. That brace should earn him a first start in months. If Lampard opts for a 4-4-2 diamond again, which I think he will, eyes will be on whether Martyn Waghorn is fit to join Marriott in attack, or whether Mason Bennett will lead the line.
The narrow system allows the Rams’ key players such as Mason Mount and Duane Holmes to find space between the lines and feed the attackers. Although Derby have lost 7-0 on aggregate over two games with Villa, that was a similar story with Leeds. They won that game, in the most unlikely of circumstance, which shows anything can happen in the play-offs.
Anthony Taylor is the referee for this fixture. The Englishman has officiated 48 top-flight matches this season. In that time, he has accumulated an average booking points total of 31.8. Therefore, I would advise a maximum of 50+ total points for this fixture.
This is a really tough game to call. Play-off finals aren’t usually flooded with goals; they can often be tense, nervy affairs. I expect Derby to make things tough for Aston Villa, but I am going to back Smith’s side for a narrow win. Don’t be surprised if this makes it all the way to extra time and even penalties, though.
Aston Villa vs Derby County will be televised live in the UK on Sky Sports Football with kick-off at 15:00 BST.
Prediction: Aston Villa 2-1 Derby County
Suggested Tips – Aston Villa vs Derby County – (SKYBET)
- Correct Score – Aston Villa to Win – 2-1 – 8/1.
- Both Players to score – Jack Marriott and Tammy Abraham – 8/1.
- Player Stats RequestABets – Grealish 1+ shots on target & Wilson 1+ shots on target and 20+ booking points each team – 4/1.
- Player Stats RequestABets – Abraham to score a header and Wilson to score from outside the area – 100/1.
- Scorecast Boost – Tammy Abraham to score first and Aston Villa to win 2-1 – 40/1. (NB).
- How Will Tie be Decided – Either team to win on Penalties – 5/1.
- RequestABet Specials Up to 10/1 – BTTS, 4+ corners each team and 20+ booking points each team – 5/1. (NAP).
- Popular RequestABets – Derby to win, BTTS, 4+ corners each team and 20+ booking points each team – 22/1. (Cover).
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