Aston Villa welcome Wolves to Villa Park in a tasty West Midlands derby as both teams look to continue their push for a top ten finish.
Victory will lift Villa up to seventh until Saturday evening at minimum, whereas Wolves can leapfrog their hosts with a win and go as high as eighth.
Morgan Sanson could return for Aston Villa if can prove his fitness after recovering from a muscle injury.
Emiliano Martinez will undergo a late fitness test following his return from international duty but Leon Bailey (muscle), Trezeguet and Keinan Davis (both knee) remain absent.
Wolves could be without Ruben Neves as the Portuguese midfielder recovers from a knock.
Francisco Trincao (Coronavirus) is a doubt but Jonny, Pedro Neto (both knee), Yerson Mosquera and Hugo Bueno (both hamstring) remain ruled out.
- Aston Villa have won two of their last five Premier League meetings against Wolves (W2, D1, L2).
- Wolves are unbeaten in five of their six Premier League visits to Villa Park (W2, D3, L1).
- Both of Wolves’ two Premier League wins at Villa were by 1-0 results in March 2011 and June 2020.
- Villa are yet to make any last-man tackles this season in the Premier League.
- Raul Jimenez’s two league assists for Wolves this season both came last time out as he set up both of Hwang Hee-chan’s goals in their win over Newcastle just before October’s international break.
Having delivered two strong attacking performances in their last two outings, Villa certainly are coping well without Jack Grealish after his summer switch to Manchester City but their biggest issue seems to be finishing off their chances.
Dean Smith will also be hoping that his defence are better placed to handle counter-attacks than they were at Tottenham, simply because they were often caught out on the break to their cost and I do fear that we could see the same here especially with Wolves’ Adama Traore on the right flank.
Speaking of Wolves, they have turned a corner in their last three matches and particularly last time out against Newcastle, where they played intelligent attacks full of swift passing movements plus strong pressing in midfield of which Raul Jimenez selflessly got involved with to snatch a clinical win.
On that note, this certainly feels like a game which could go either way so I am going for an entertaining draw here.
Prediction: Aston Villa 1-1 Wolves
Result: Aston Villa 2-3 Wolves