by Ian S. Palmer
It’ll be a case of first vs worst this weekend in the English Premier League when last-place Aston Villa hosts co-leaders Leicester City at Villa Stadium in Birmingham this Saturday, January 16. Leicester snapped their recent three-game winless string on Wednesday with a 1-0 road win over Tottenham while Villa won for the first time in 20 league matches when they managed to beat Crystal Palace 1-0 at home the night before.
- Pinnacle Sports currently lists Leicester as the favorites at +121 with Aston Villa +265 and a draw at +240
Aston Villa vs Leicester City - Head to Head:
- Leicester beat Villa 3-2 at home in an entertaining clash earlier this season. Villa has won the last two home meetings in all competitions 2-1 and have lost just one of their past five at Villa Park to Leicester with three wins in the past four at home. There have been five red cards produced in the last seven top-tier league matches between the sides. Villa has beaten Leicester just four times in 19 tries in the Premier League era, but have won three of their past four home encounters. Overall, the two clubs have met 97 times in the past with Leicester winning 41, losing 33 and drawing the other 23.
Villa enters the weekend in 20th and last place in the league with just two wins, five draws and 14 losses on the season for 11 points with 17 goals scored and 37 allowed. The team has a lone victory at home this season with three draws and six losses. They’ve scored seven goals at home and allowed 13 against with two clean sheets. However, they’ve failed to score in five home matches. Villa has three losses, two draws and a win in their past six home fixtures and have three clean sheets overall and have been shut out eight times.
Leicester enters the weekend in a first-place tie with Arsenal as they each have 43 points. Leicester has 12 wins, seven draws and two losses with 36 goals for and 25 against. They sit in second place in the table due to Arsenal’s superior goal difference. Leicester has six wins in their last seven road games and have a league-best seven wins, three draws and one defeat away from home this campaign with 22 goals scored and 12 conceded. Leicester has three clean sheets on the road and have been shutout once. Overall, they have six clean sheets and have failed to score just three times. They were shut out in three straight matches until beating Spurs on Wednesday.
Villa are expected to be without the services of Jack Grealish, Alan Hutton, Adama Traore and Gabriel Agbonlahor for the game. However, there’s a slight chance that the latter three could return to the lineup in time. As for Leicester, top scorer Jamie Vardy returned to the side against Spurs on Wednesday, but Matthew James is still out of action with a foot injury.
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