Last updated & checked: 10/08/2021
Aston Villa welcome West Bromwich Albion to Villa Park on Saturday afternoon for what is sure to be a passionate and hotly contested West Midlands derby. Albion boss Darren Moore might well be relieved that his team is playing away from home this weekend, simply because the Baggies have not found it easy to win games at The Hawthorns in recent times. They have won only one of their last seven on home soil, and drew 2-2 with Nottingham Forest at home last weekend.
Villa were on a four-game unbeaten run in the Championship until Wednesday evening, when they were beaten 1-0 away at Brentford. Three of those four unbeaten games ended in draws, though, with the only victory coming at home against Ipswich Town. They showed superb spirit last Friday evening at home against Sheffield United, though, drawing 3-3, despite being 3-0 down with nine minutes of normal time remaining.
Aston Villa vs West Brom Prediction: Villa 1-1 Albion
Our prediction for this game is that it will end in another score draw for both teams. Albion have a strong record away from home, and will expect to do well, especially in a local derby where bragging rights are at stake. Villa showed that they are a very hard team to beast against the Blades last Friday, but are still finding it hard to turn those draws into wins. The same has been true of Albion in recent weeks, and we sense that this game will turn out to be another hard-fought draw.
Our recommended tip: Draw, both score
Our featured tip for this Championship clash comes from William Hill. They are offering odds of 14/5 on both teams scoring and the match ending in a draw. This matches our prediction of a 1-1 final score, but also gives you more flexibility when it comes to the actually final scoreline. Odds of 14/5 also offer some decent rewards for a modest outlay on your part, so this looks and feels like a good bet to us. Both teams have a tendency to draw games, and local derbies tend to be close.
These two old West Midlands rivals have a long history of clashes that extends right back into the 19th century. They have faced each other on 168 occasions in total in competitive fixtures in their history, with Villa winning 77 times, West Brom 54 times, and there having been 37 draws.
The most recent meeting between the teams was earlier this season, when they faced each other in the Championship at The Hawthorns. The game ended in a 2-2 draw, and also provided plenty of excitement, with Jay Rodriguez netting a very late equaliser for the Baggies in injury time to secure a point.
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Players to watch: Tammy Abraham & Jay Rodriguez
Tammy Abraham has emerged as a key striker at Aston Villa this season. Abraham was one of Villa’s goalscorers against Sheffield United last Friday evening, with the player hitting the second goal in Villa’s dramatic late comeback from 3-0 down to draw 3-3. The former Chelsea man has scored 20 goals and provided one assist in his 25 Championship games in 2018/19, stats which highlight just how important he has become to Dean Smith’s Villa side.
Jay Rodriguez showed his continuing worth to Albion last weekend when he struck a late penalty to secure a 2-2 draw against Nottingham Forest. It was also Rodriguez who struck a late equaliser for the Baggies in their previous encounter with Villa this season, when they drew 2-2. Rodriguez has now struck a total of 16 goals in his 31 Championship games this season, and Villa will need to keep a close eye on him on Saturday afternoon.