Aston Villa and Wolves battle out 0-0 derby draw

A 0-0 draw does little for either’s side European aspirations but on a night of few chances there can be absolutely no complaints from Dean Smith or Nuno Santo.

Villa flew out of the blocks early on as Ollie Watkins and Ezri Konsa both smashed efforts against the bar in the only chances before the break.

However, despite struggling to get a kick in the opening 45, it was Wolves who carved out the best chance just after the break as Pedro Neto forced a smart stop from Emiliano Martinez.

And that little change in momentum tipped the balance in Wolves’ favour in the final half hour as skipper Conor Coady powered a header off the post and Roman Saiss ballooned the rebound over.

And it was to be the Wolves captain who almost nicked it in the final 10 but Martinez was on hand to make a game saving stop.

Full Time from Villa Park it’s Aston Villa 0 Wolves 0

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Premier League: Aston Villa v Wolves

A Midlands derby is the tea time Premier League offering on Saturday, as Wolves make the short trip across Birmingham to take on Aston Villa at Villa Park.

Both sides were beaten in midweek, with Wolves putting up a fight against Manchester City before going down 4-1, while Villa were shocked by Sheffield United at Bramall Lane.

Dean Smith lamented his side’s performance that day, but could have Jack Grealish back available after his captain missed the last three games with a leg injury.

If Grealish does return, he’ll be hoping to continue the kind of form that has saw the Villans go into the last 13 games of the season with a real chance of finishing in the European places, as they sit just four points behind sixth-placed Liverpool.

If not, Smith will have to work out a way of winning without their talisman. Ollie Watkins hasn’t scored in his last four games and was largely ineffective against Sheffield United, while Anwar El Ghazi forced Phil Jagielka into a red card, but Villa still couldn’t find a way past Chris Wilder’s side.

In fact, it was El Ghazi’s 94th minute penalty that separated the sides when they met earlier this season, with the former PSV winger netting the winner after both sides had seen a man sent off in an ill-tempered final 10 minutes.

Smith will also be without Matty Cash, Kortney Hause and Wesley for the game, as all remain side-lined with injuries.

Nuno Espirito Santo will be hoping for a repeat of the outcome from the last time the sides met at Villa Park, when Leander Dendoncker scored the only goal of the game during Project Restart.

The result that day left Villa in 19th place with Premier League survival very much up in the air. Fast forward nine months, and it’s Wolves that are closer to the drop than the Villans.

If Wolves are to claim bragging rights, they’ll have to do it without Daniel Podence, Raul Jimenez and Fernando Marcal, but Willy Boly is back in training and could make a return alongside Conor Coady, who scored his first goal for Wolves in 1,046 days against Man City.

If Santo’s side can take the points, they’ll put themselves just two points behind Villa going into the last 10 games, but eighth place is up for grabs if the home side can do the double over Wolves.

Aston Villa take on Wolves at Villa Park on Saturday, March 6th. Kick-off is at 5.30pm.

Aston Villa edge out crucial 1-0 win at Leeds

Anwar El Ghazi’s early strike earned all three points for the Villa as they move to within touching distance of Everton, as Leeds slip back into the bottom half.

Both sides looked bright and breezy early on but a Leeds error gifted Villa the crucial breakthrough.

Ollie Watkins’ strike ricocheted off Liam Cooper and El Ghazi kept his head to calmly slot home.

The Dutch international continued to carry the key threat for Villa before the break as Illan Meslier produced two vital stops to keep him out.

And despite dominating possession after the break, Leeds were unable to really test Emiliano Martinez.

Brazilian star Raphinha looked the most likely to snatch an equaliser in the dying stages but Dean Smith’s battlers had enough to dig for the win.

Full Time from Elland Road it’s Leeds United 0 Aston Villa 1

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Leicester City keep up title pressure with 2-1 Aston Villa win

The Foxes have now lost just once since December, and Rodgers looks to determined to push on and seal a Champions League spot at the King Power Stadium.

And the visitors were on top right from kick off in the West Midlands as Maddison confidently slotted them in front.

The impressive Harvey Barnes found the England star on the edge of the box and he curled a peach of an effort past Emiliano Martinez.

And with Villa unable to react quickly enough, Leicester swarmed them to make it 2-0 just after.

The evergreen Jamie Vardy’s drive was too much for Martinez to hang onto and Barnes was in like a flash to smash home.

But despite barely having a kick in the first 45, Dean Smith’s half time message did the trick after the break, as Bertrand Traore immediately volleyed them back into it.

However, that only proved to be a flicker of light for the Villa as Leicester could and should have made it three late on. with Martinez redeeming himself with vital saves from Maddison and Vardy.

Full Time from Villa Park it’s Aston Villa 1 Leicester City 2

Brighton held to frustrating 0-0 draw with Aston Villa

Graham Potter’s side dominated against the Villa but their all to familiar lack of cutting edge left the Seagulls frustrated.

The hosts looked slick from the word go in this one as Alexis MacAllister powered a header over and Leandro Trossard tested Emiliano Martinez.

And it was to be a one-man war against Brighton as Martinez produced another diving stop from Dan Burn.

It was all one-way traffic again after the break as Dean Smith’s side looked to simply for point.

But as hard as Brighton pushed late on, with Joel Veltman and Danny Welbeck both coming close, Martinez was in no mood to be beaten.

Full Time from the AMEX Stadium it’s Brighton 0 Aston Villa 0

Aston Villa edge out Arsenal in vital 1-0 Premier League win

Dean Smith’s side now have three wins in their last five as Ollie Watkins early strike was enough to see off the Gunners.

Villa have made a habit of fast starts in recent weeks and the in-form Watkins powered them ahead inside the first two minutes.

Bertrand Traore’s persistence forced an error from Cedric Soares on the edge of the box and his low ball was scuffed by Watkins.

But that early strike failed to really spark either side into life with Granit Xhaka’s free kick the only test for Emiliano Martinez.

And with the visitors unable to pick up any steam after the break it was debutant Mat Ryan who was called into action to deny Watkins a second.

But with a stark lack of cutting edge from Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal, it was Villa that almost wrapped it up late on, as Ryan produced a superb stop to deny Jack Grealish.

Full Time on a big day for the home side at Villa Park it’s Aston Villa 1 Arsenal 0

Premier League: Aston Villa v West Ham

A claret and blue clash takes place at Villa Park on Wednesday night, as West Ham and Aston Villa lock horns in a battle to keep their European hopes alive.

Despite losing four of their last six games in all competitions, Villa can go above the Hammers with a win and will start the game as favourites, coming off the back of an impressive win at Southampton thanks to Ross Barkley’s header.

West Ham were outclassed by Liverpool in their last outing, but can close the gap on Leicester in fourth should they pick up a win which would also see them open up a gap over Spurs and Chelsea, who meet on Thursday night.

In order to try and do that, the Hammers will have Jesse Lingard in the squad for the first time since he joined from Manchester United on loan, although the midfielder is unlikely to start. Michail Antonio is also fit and looking for his third goal of 2021, having netted against West Brom and Burnley earlier this year.

The only definite absentee David Moyes has in his squad is Arthur Masuaku, who is still a couple of months away as he continues to recover from a knee injury. Darren Randolph could return to the bench after missing the last two games with an injury. Centre-back Craig Dawson has scored in his last two games and will be hoping he can continue to be a threat in both areas.

Just like his opposite number, Dean Smith has an almost entirely fit squad to choose from, with only two players missing through injury. Those are Brazilian striker Wesley, who is still not fit to make the squad after rupturing his ACL against Burnley last season, and Kortney Hause, who is out for 4-6 weeks with a foot injury.

New signing Morgan Sanson could make his debut after remaining on the bench for the win over Southampton. In related news, Sanson’s departure from Marseille kicked off an unfortunate chain of events at the French club, with Andre-Villas Boas resigning on Tuesday after Sanson’s replacement, Olivier Ntcham, was signed against his wishes. Things are less dramatic in the Midlands.

Aston Villa take on West Ham on Wednesday, February 3rd. Kick-off is at 8.15pm.

Aston Villa edge out Southampton with 1-0 Premier League win

Dean Smith’s side now leapfrog the Saints and move up to 8th in the table as Ralph Hasenhuttl’s hosts slip out of the Top Ten.

Both sides did create chances in rapid start on the south coast with Stuart Armstrong left frustrated as his shot was blocked by Matty Cash before Ollie Watkins tested Alex McCarthy.

And despite there being little to pick between the sides before the break it was Villa that finally found the breakthrough.

Matt Targett’s pass released Jack Grealish down the left and his lofted cross was headed home by Barkley.

The Saints took a while to get up to speed after the break but Che Adams wasted a fantastic chance to find an equaliser.

Danny Ings’ clever pass released him inside the box but Emiliano Martinez was out in a flash to make a brave stop.

And it was the former Arsenal stopper who sealed the win in added time as the Argentinian produced an incredible double stop to deny Jan Bednarek and Jack Stephens.

Full Time from the St. Mary’s Stadium it’s Southampton 0 Aston Villa 1

Premier League: Southampton v Aston Villa

The late game on Saturday sees two of the season’s surprise packages collide at St Mary’s, as Southampton host Aston Villa.

If you’d offered both sides their current position at the halfway stage, they’d likely have both been happy with the deal. Villa sit tenth, six points off the top five with two games in hand, while Southampton have the same amount of points from a game more.

The aim for both is to mount a challenge for a European place, despite both suffering recent wobbles in form.

Villa are coming off the back of a disappointing loss to Burnley in a game they led twice, while Arsenal got the better of the Saints on Monday, leapfrogging them in the table in the process.

Both sides will be hoping to return to winning ways on the South Coast, and have easing injury worries to help them do so.

Southampton have been decimated by injuries recently, but will have four players available again for the visit of Villa. Oriol Romeu, Nathan Redmond and Moussa Djenepo should play some part, and captain Ryan Bertrand returns after suspension.

Kyle Walker-Peters, Michael Obefemi, Nathan Tella, Mohamed Salisu and Jannik Vestergaard are all still out, while Will Smallbone had knee surgery this week and will miss the rest of the season.

Villa have a far less busy treatment table, with only Wesley and Kortney Hause missing. Wesley isn’t far off a return from an ACL injury, while Hause has an ankle issue. New signing Morgan Sanson will be involved for the first time in a Villa shirt, following his £15m move from Marseille earlier this week.

A win for either side would see them end the weekend in the top half and continue their ambitions of a top eight finish, something that both sets of fans would have been thrilled with at the start of the season.

Southampton take on Aston Villa at St Mary’s on Saturday, January 30th. Kick-off is at 8pm.

Aston Villa cruise to 2-0 Premier League win over struggling Newcastle

Bruce’s side are without a Premier League win in their last eight games as a dominant Villa simply swept them aside.

Dean Smith’s team have been the polar opposite of Newcastle in recent weeks and top scorer Ollie Watkins deservedly put them ahead on 13 minutes.

Matt Targett’s low cross was spooned up in the air by Fabian Schar and Watkins kept his calm to bravely head past Karl Darlow.

And with Newcastle unable to lay a glove on the dominant hosts a flowing team move made it 2-0 before the break.

A loose ball was recycled back out to Jack Grealish and his square ball was fired home by Bertrand Traore.

Villa continued to dominate again after restart with Darlow called into early action to save from Watkins.

And in reality it could and should have been more on the night for Villa as Grealish curled a trademark effort just wide as a bewildered Bruce looked on.

Full Time at Villa Park it’s Aston Villa 2 Newcastle 0