Aston Villa vs Leicester City – Betting Tips & Predictions – 08-12

Last updated & checked: 10/08/2021

With fifteen points from their first fifteen games, Dean Smith’s Villa side are within just two points of the club’s total from the 2015/16 season. That stat may become less impressive if you remember that was the season that saw them relegated by the middle of April, but it is a sign that the recently-promoted Villains are going to make a much better fist of staying in the Premier League this time around.

Speaking of teams who had historically-anomalous seasons in 2016, Smith’s opposition this weekend comes in the form of Leicester City. With the best defensive record in all four divisions in England, the Foxes are again riding high among more fancied competition. Rodgers’ side are three points ahead of Manchester City in second place, and while the gap of eight to leaders Liverpool is a forbidding one, the East Midlands side just keep winning, so we can’t rule out a repeat of that once-in-a-lifetime season.

Aston Villa vs Leicester City Prediction: Aston Villa 1-2 Leicester City

The hard-learned lesson in football is that if you want to achieve something special, you need to do the tough yards by winning games you are expected to win. Isolated wins against bigger sides, though exciting, don’t accumulate that many points. Recently, Leicester’s path has been filled with tricky banana skins and they’ve sidestepped each of them – Brighton, Everton, and Watford the most recent of them in a seven-game winning streak. Villa are exactly the same type of opponent, and will require the same calm showing from Leicester; we’d expect the Foxes to meet that challenge.

Our recommended tip: Leicester win & BTTS

Aston Villa have shown more attacking endeavour in the first 33% of this season than they did in all of 2015/16, and it’s seen them pick up more points, which is what matters. More than that, even in games they’ve lost, such as their opener at Tottenham, they’ve looked competitive. Dean Smith will look to take the game to the visitors here and Villa may well test Leicester. With that said, the hosts may also display the same fragility at the back that has cost them games this campaign, and with Jamie Vardy in prolific form that fragility is liable to be exploited, making William Hill’s 2/1 on this market attractive.

Previous matches

These sides are remaking acquaintances after a three-season spell in which the Premier League didn’t have anything resembling a Midlands derby. The last such game, here at Villa Park, was not a classic on which to leave it. The sides drew 1-1, Shinji Okazaki opening the scoring for Leicester before Riyad Mahrez missed a penalty that may have sealed three points. In the second half, a deflected Gestede shot brought Villa a share of the spoils.

A 3-2 win for Leicester when the sides met the previous September was much more of a classic, Grealish and Gil putting the visitors two up within 63 minutes. de Laet pulled one back on 72 minutes before Vardy (82) and Nathan Dyer (89) completed the comeback.

Top 3 Premier League Bookies

Players to watch: Jack Grealish & Ricardo Pereira

Since his Villa debut, Grealish has been posited as the Next Big Thing, then consigned to the Where Are They Now file, before finding himself in the role of Indispensable Club Stalwart. It’s an impressive career progression for a player who’s still only 24, and the midfielder has taken it in stride admirably. Now club captain, Grealish has lost none of his ability to sneak through the narrowest of gaps, and has added a remarkable instinct for when to release the ball. He’ll be a dangerman here, for sure.

Leicester’s Class of 2020 is reminiscent of the 2016 vintage in one undeniable way – an exceptional team ethic in which even the stars work more as cogs in a machine than anything else. While not breaking that ethic, Ricardo is, it’s fair to say, a more brightly-coloured cog. His natural pace and dribbling ability, allied to a knowledge of where to run and when, make him indispensable to the attack, while his calm and unfussy defending is invaluable further back. Is he the complete right-back? Possibly.

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