Aston Villa kicks off this weekend’s Championship action as they welcome Bolton Wanderers to Villa Park for a mid-table clash.
Having initially made strong starts, both teams have slid down the table but defeat here could send one side closer to the drop zone.
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Aston Villa could hand loan signing, Yannick Bolasie his first start, having been only restricted to eight appearances from the bench since joining from Everton.
Birkir Bjarnason is ruled out with a groin injury but Albert Adomah is available after recovering from a knee injury.
Bolton midfielder, Jason Lowe is available after serving a one match ban against Hull on Saturday.
Gary O’Neil however is set to miss out with a calf injury.
Aston Villa come into this on a run of inconsistency with three defeats and a win from their last four.
Villa however are consistent when it comes to the scorelines with a run of 2-1, 1-0, 2-1, 1-0 results in last four games, with Tammy Abraham netting early goals in first two matches of that run.
Bolton meanwhile are winless in last five with a draw and four defeats, whilst scoring just three goals and conceding eight.
- Both teams claimed 1-0 home wins in this fixture last season.
- Aston Villa and Bolton have both taken two wins from last five meetings at Villa Park, drawing the other 1-1 in September 2010.
- In each of last two seasons featuring both teams in same division, both legs of that season have finished by same scoreline to the winning side (2-1 in 2011-12, 1-0 in 2017-18).
- Villa manager, Dean Smith won all three meetings with Bolton when he was in charge of Brentford, scoring eight and conceding once.
Bolton have just flown off the boil in past month whilst its hard to know what to expect from Villa.
A part of me wouldn’t be surprised if we see a draw here but I can see Villa edging this.
Prediction: Aston Villa 1-0 Bolton Wanderers