Wolves head to the second city looking to regain some of the form they had built up in the month of February, whilst Dean Smith’s Villa side will be hoping they can quickly forget Wednesday’s dismal defeat at Bramall Lane by beating their midland rivals.
Villa have had a great season, but have been very inconsistent throughout, this has been showcased by their recent up and down form. Last Saturday Ahmed El Ghazi’s neat finish was enough to see off Leeds, Villa managing to be one of the few sides managing to keep them quiet this season, however, that good work was slightly undone in midweek, as they lost by the same scoreline on the road at basement club Sheffield United, who had ten men for a decent portion of the game.
The Villains however, have not tasted back-to-back defeats since mid January, a record they would love to continue. One negative for the hosts is that it is looking likely that their captain Jack Grealish will miss out again, with manager Smith saying he’s “unlikely to play” after suffering a slight injury last month. Another blow is that Matty Cash is also out with injury, the right back has been sensational since making the switch from Nottingham Forest in the summer and will be a big miss for the Villa side this Saturday.
Wolves had a great February, picking up wins against Arsenal, Southampton and Leicester City, however, the 1-1 draw against Newcastle was disappointing and Nuno’s men also tasted defeat in midweek, going down 4-1 at The Etihad, but with Guardiola’s City side looking unstoppable at the minute, even the most positive Wolves fan wouldn’t have expected the team to pick up anything from the trip.
While Raul Jimenez’s injury situation is improving all the time, it will still be a while before he is ready for first team action, so either new signing Willian Jose or Fabio Silva need to start piping up with some goals up front. Jose has been disappointing so far, however has lacked a lot of service in most of the games he has been involved in, whilst Silva looked very bright and could’ve easily netted the winner at St James’ Park last Saturday.
Will Boly returned to the squad after a month out at City on Wednesday, so should be in contention to start on Saturday. Nuno’s side are much improved with the big Frenchman in the starting eleven, so this news should come as a major boost. Marcal and Daniel Podence are still out with muscle injuries for this one.
Last time out
In December Villa came away from Molineux with all three points after an injury time penalty from Ahmed El Ghazi, a heartbreaking defeat for Wanderers. The result kickstarted a great run for Dean Smith’s men, who went four games unbeaten after this victory, so will be hoping for another three points with a few winnable looking fixtures against Newcastle and Fulham coming up in the next few weeks, whilst a win for Wolves will give them some extra confidence going into the final stages of the season
Aston Villa – Martinez, Elmohamady, Konsa, Mings, Targett, McGinn, Luiz, Traore, Barkley, El Ghazi, Watkins
Wolves – Patricio, Semedo, Boly, Coady, Saiss, Jonny, Neves, Moutinho, Adama, Jose, Neto
Where To Watch – Sky Sports Main Event, Sky Sports Premier League – 17:30
Prediction – Aston Villa 1-1 Wolves