21 November 2020 16:41
Don't miss a thing with Villa this season - sign up here for our free AVFC newsletter Subscribe Thank you for subscribing We have more newsletters Show me See our privacy notice Invalid Email After the international break, it is back to Premier League action for Aston Villa as they host Brighton and Hove Albion at Villa Park. Dean Smith's side can go top for a short while with a win if Chelsea fail to take three points up at Newcastle United in the early kick-off. Smith's Villa, though, are coming off the back of a brilliant 3-0 victory over Arsenal last time out and have won five from seven so far this season. Villa, meanwhile, have lost their previous two fixtures at Villa Park against Leeds and Southampton, and Smith said: "We will be reminding them of the good things they did against Arsenal, but also things that we can improve. "We need a result at Villa Park because our last two haven't been good." As for Graham Potter's Brighton they've taken six points from a possible 24 and drew 0-0 with fellow strugglers Burnley prior to the international break.
"I'm expecting a really tough game because I've watched a lot of their games," Smith said of Brighton. "We need to go and get a result at Villa Park because our last two results there haven't been good. We're coming up against a really good footballing team." Aston Villa v Brighton takes place on Saturday, November 21. The match will take place at Villa Park, the 11th consecutive Premier League game without a crowd in B6. Newcastle v Chelsea is the 12.30pm kick-off prior to Villa's clash while, afterwards, Spurs host Man City (5.30pm) before West Brom travel to Manchester United (8pm).
Brighton & Hove Albion Brighton & Hove Albion are the clubhouse leaders in misfortune through the first two months of the season. Brighton largely outplayed United in that match and had to overcome five (5!) shots off the post to tie the game in the 94th minute. In that match, Brighton attempted 11 more shots, controlled 72% of the chances and won the expected goals battle, 2.98 to 1.58. Only five teams (Liverpool, Spurs, Leicester, Chelsea and Villa) sport a better xG/90 than Brighton this season and no team has conceded fewer expected goals and non-penalty xG (npxG) than the Seagulls (including a few clubs that have played one fewer contest this campaign). Brighton are winless in their last six matches and just three points above the relegation zone, but by every metric — except for the one that matters — Graham Potter's Seagulls have been one of the most impressive teams in the Premier League this season. Aston Villa Aston Villa's success is legitimate, and even though they have played only seven matches this season, the turnaround at Villa Park can be traced back to right after the hiatus in 2019/20. At some point during the pause, Dean Smith decided to turn Villa into a defensive force and the changes implemented worked as the Villans allowed just 1.01 xG per match in their last 10 contests last season. That form has carried over into the new campaign, as Villa held their opponents to just 0.93 xG per 90 minutes through their first four contests. It was a longshot that Villa's defense was going to perform at that level for the entire season, so the recent dip in form in front of their own goal should not be all that worrisome, especially since the Villans have proven that they can create scoring chances. They also have some match-winning talents in Jack Grealish, Ross Barkley and Ollie Watkins. Villa could be the perfect buy-low, sell-high team in the Premier League in 2020/21. Aston Villa Pick Despite having a game in hand, Aston Villa have four more wins, nine more points and are 12 goals better than Brighton this season. Stat Brighton Aston Villa Goal Differential -3 9 xG Differential Per 90 0.28 0.31 npxG For per 90 1.26 1.58 npxG Against per 90 0.6 1.27 I've played this Brighton team quite a bit already this season to little success, but the numbers support going back to the well. If you like betting longshots, backing Brighton to finish inside the Top 6 at 50/1 (DraftKings) is definitely worth a hard look. The Premier League has the look of a wide-open competition this season, so it isn't all that crazy to think that the Seagulls could make a charge up the table. As for Saturday's match, I like the price on Brighton at +190 or better. As Anthony Dabbundo pointed out in his column this week, home-field advantage hasn't meant much in the Premier League this season and I think the margin between these two squads is razor thin. At some point Brighton's results will start to match their level of play, so now's as good a time as any to buy into the Seagulls. Villa have been impressive in the Premier League and once again their main man has been Jack Grealish. Grealish has thrived with better attacking players around him and they will look to cause plenty of problems today against a Brighton team who have won just once in their opening eight matches. Scroll down and click through to see how Villa could line-up against Brighton today. 1. Martinez Has added much needed stability between the sticks at Aston Villa following his arrival from Arsenal Buy photo 2. Cash The 23-year-old right back has impressed since his arrival from Forest Buy photo 3. Konsa Goes under the radar at times but the former Brentford man has formed a good partnership with Tyrone Mings Buy photo 4. Mings Played well for England during international break and a leader within the Villa defence Buy photo Restore your password Restore