2018-19 Sky Bet Championship: Week 45 – Sunday

With automatic promotion now virtually all but mathematically gone, Leeds United welcome Aston Villa to Elland Road for a critical Sky Bet Championship clash. 

Now that Norwich have secured promotion and Sheffield United have a far superior goal difference, Leeds face a mammoth task to snatch the second automatic promotion spot as they need two huge wins from here and at Ipswich next weekend coupled with a heavy Blades loss at Stoke for promotion to swing their way.

Villa meanwhile can enter the final day looking to snatch fourth from West Brom and the advantage of having the second leg of their play-off semi-final at Villa Park, if they win here. 

 

Team news

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Leeds will be without top goalscorer, Kemar Roofe who is now sidelined with a hip injury, having recently returned from a knee injury. 

Ezgjan Alioski and Barry Douglas will both miss the remainder of this season including the play-offs, after needing knee surgery. 

Aston Villa are again without two loanees as Chelsea’s Tammy Abraham remains out with a shoulder injury, whilst Wolves’ Kortney Hause is close to a return from a hip injury but won’t be risked here. 

Defender, Axel Tuanzebe however is available after overcoming a knock to his ankle which he suffered at Bolton just over a week ago. 

 

Form

Leeds have lost their last two matches against Brentford and Wigan respectively to effectively condemn them to the play-offs, especially after taking just three wins from their last seven matches. 

Aston Villa head to Yorkshire unbeaten in their last 11 and have won each of their last 10 matches, although they have kept just two clean sheets in five away trips during the winning run. 

 

Stat Attack

  • Leeds have lost just one of their last five meetings with Aston Villa (W2, D2, L1).
  • Aston Villa’s last three goals in this fixture have come in the first half. 
  • Leeds last lost three league games in a row in Autumn 2017, losing to Sheffield United, Derby and Brentford.
  • Jack Grealish has scored in Villa’s last two away games with both goals coming early in second-half.  
  • Leeds have failed to score from any of their last 46 shots since Patrick Bamford scored against Wigan on Good Friday. 

 

Prediction

Leeds need to pick themselves up now after a disappointing Easter weekend because automatic promotion is still mathematically possible, however slim the odds are of things swinging their way. 

Villa meanwhile are in great form but clearly struggled without Abraham last time out, so if Leeds are at their attacking best, they should trouble a weakened Villa but I fancy Villa to score at least once here. 

Prediction: Leeds United 2-1 Aston Villa

Result: Leeds United 1-1 Aston Villa

 

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