Aston Villa will still have quite aspirations of hitting the play-off spots, however nothing short of three points away to 17th placed Stoke will do if this is to fuel their charge. Form Labs hopes to help you find the back of the net with their betting preview and tips for the game and don’t forget to check out our selection of enhanced odds available for another weekend of top-flight football.
Villa’s Play-Off Hopes Fading
Villa have won just once from their last nine matches and their chances of making the play-offs are getting slimmer by the day.
Indeed, their defeat at Villa Park last weekend against West Brom was the first time they’ve failed to score in front of their home fans this term, as well as being Tammy Abraham’s first home blank in nine appearances.
Meanwhile, Stoke were unfortunate not to earn their first victory in five matches after Ipswich’s Will Keane grabbed a late equaliser to deny them.
Stoke Struggling In Front Of Goal
Much of the Potters’ problems have been in the final third of the field as they’ve failed to score in seven of their last 10, netting just the solitary strike across their last five.
However, their defence has been fairly solid as they’ve conceded more than once on only eight occasions across their last 23 matches. Five of those poor defensive displays came on the road, while they’ve kept a clean sheet on nine occasions, so we can expect them to keep this tight.
Dean Smith’s charges may typically score for fun on their own patch but the same can’t be said away from home.
Indeed, they’ve fired a blank in each of their last three matches as striker Abraham has a strike rate of a goal every 280 minutes on the road this term, compared to every 76 minutes at Villa Park.
Grealish Has Been Missed
Furthermore, they’ve missed the creative qualities of Jack Grealish in recent times and although he may be poised to make a return for this clash, it’s likely to be from the bench.
In the 20 away days where he’s been absent from the starting team since the start of last season, Villa have scored 9% fewer goals and failed to score in 35%, compared to firing blanks in just 21% of the 19 with him in the line-up.
Only four of the Potters’ last 15 at the bet365 Stadium have seen both teams register, while that has been the case in only two of Villa’s last nine road games, so we fancy this to be a cagey encounter and we’ll back the both teams not to score.
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