Last Saturday we saw the first part of the Premier League playoff doubleheader between Aston Villa and Middlesbrough. The Villans finished the match as the happier side and now have a seemingly easy job to protect the lead at their own turn, the Villa Park in Birmingham. So, can they ensure their spot in the final of the playoff? Find out in the Aston Villa vs. Middlesbrough match preview!
No one can say that the 1:0 win over Middlesbrough last weekend came as a result of a good play by Aston Villa players. It’s rather due to the fact that Middlesbrough attackers were terrible. Aston Villa were defending for the most of the match, but especially in the second half. It’s not a surprise considering that Jedinak scored for the Villans in the 15th minute.
Aston Villa did very well defensively, which was to be expected. As already mentioned in the last week’s Middlesbrough vs. Aston Villa match preview, the Villans are one of the best teams in the Championship in terms of defending. Some of the players worth mentioning include their captain John Terry, as well as James Chester, Alan Hutton, Neil Taylor, and others.
Of course, I mustn’t forget to mention their goalie, as well. Sam Johnstone has featured in each Aston Villa match this season, allowing 42 goals in the process. That makes him the third goalkeeper in the Championship with the least goals conceded. In fact, Johnstone has managed to keep a clean sheet in 21 games this season. Only John Ruddy of Wolverhampton has a better record.
With such a great defense Aston Villa seem more than capable to ensure a good result on Tuesday. But, does this necessarily mean that they’re gonna defend? After all, they’re playing in front of their own crowd, so it wouldn’t be a big surprise if Steve Bruce decided to go for a win.
Aston Villa have lost only two home games this season, winning three out of four previous matches. On top of that, their attackers seem pretty enthusiastic about the Premier League prospect, so you can expect them to give their best in this game, thus getting ready for the eventual playoff final.
There’s no doubt that Middlesbrough have a very good team made of a bunch of players who have a vast Premier League experience. They did show their class in the first match with Aston Villa, but unfortunately for them, they failed to score. Middlesbrough had 16 goal attempts, but only two of those actually went on goal. If they wanna win this match, their attackers will have to be much more precise.
Britt Assombalonga is the man in whom Middlesbrough fans are putting their hopes. He’s the team’s top scorer with 15 goals to his name this season, four more than the second-most prolific striker, Patrick Bamford. Only these two players have scored more than 10 goals this season for Middlesbrough. Their third-best scorer is a central defender, Daniel Ayala.
Speaking of Ayala, the Spaniard seems to be struggling with an injury, although the chances are high that he’ll feature in the Tuesday’s game. In fact, it appears that all of Middlesbrough’s key men are ready for the crucial game.
Aston Villa absentees:
- Axel Tuanzebe (injury)
- Gabriel Agbonlahor (doubtful)
- Neil Taylor (doubtful)
- Ahmed Elmohamady (doubtful)
- Rudy Gestede (injury)
- Daniel Ayala (doubtful)
Johnstone – Terry, Chester, Whelan, Hutton – Jedinak, Hourihane, Grealish, Snodgrass, Adomah – Grabban
Randolph – Ayala, Gibson, Fabio, Friend – Besic, Clayton, Howson – Downing, Traore, Assombalonga
Aston Villa vs. Middlesbrough Match Prediction
I think we’ll see Aston Villa continue their battle for a spot in the Premier League. They’re likely to advance to the final stage of the playoff, but which way they’re gonna do it, I’m not sure. The match can go into the extra time, it can end in a draw, or Aston Villa can get the job done by beating Middlesbrough in the 90 minutes. I think the last one is the most likely scenario…
Aston Villa vs. Middlesbrough Betting Tips
- Aston Villa to Advance @1.20 (William Hill)
- Aston Villa @2.29 (bet365)