Match Preview: Aston Villa v Middlesbrough – Can Dean Smith continue run & strike Play-Off spots?

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Contributed by Korben O’Brien | Edited by Dan Rogers

Villa are back on home soil this Saturday Afternoon as we face play off rivals Middlesbrough in a 3pm kick off at Villa Park.

Villa made it a hat-trick of successive wins, with a 3-1 victory over Nottingham Forest at the City Ground midweek. 

This followed on from en emphatic 4-0 romp over Derby County and a headline grabbing 3 points at St Andrews.

John Mcginn scored two, including a 25-yard cracker. Kortney Hause bagged the all-important third, his first for the club.

Villa had gone behind in the opening minutes to a flukey, looping effort from. Jack Colback goal.

The maximum points haul from the last three games (9) also put us up to eighth in the table. 

Smith now finds himself just two points off Derby County in sixth place and four points behind fifth place Middlesbrough, our opponents this afternoon. 

Win today and things should get very interesting indeed.

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McGinn at the double

John McGinn made a big impact when he came on as a substitute against Birmingham and he made an even bigger impression when scoring a brace in the win vs Nottingham Forest.  The former Hibs man has been resurgent since returning from a two match suspension.

McGinn’s sheer energy levels, tenacity and commitment both turned the derby in Villa’s favour and were attributes that Forest could neither cope with nor counter.

Goals galore 

Villa’s 3-1 midweek win meant a remarkable 14 goals over the two fixtures between Aston Villa and Nottingham Forest this season. Many will recall the crazy 5-5 draw in the reverse.  Villa are now amongst the highest scorers in the league, with finally the makings of a capable defence with which to protect any lead.

Villa face a Middlesborough side who have only won two of their last six championship games.  They have notably scored twenty five fewer goals than us.  By contrast, we have contrived to concede twenty six more times than Pulis’ side.

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Korben’s Prediction;

Villa will take the game to Middlesborough,  taking confidence from our last three victories and will gain more momentum by picking up a 4th successive win in a row heading into the international break.

Aston Villa 3-1 Middlesbrough – with John McGinn, Jack Grealish and Conor Hourihane on the scoresheet for Villa. Prediction:

Aston Villa 2-0 Middlesbrough – with a goal for Tammy and Grealish.

Key Facts

  • Aston Villa league position (8th) ( 54 points)
  • Middlesbrough league position (5th) (58 points)
  • Aston Villa have won more games in the last three games (3) than we did the whole time Grealish was out injured.
  • Aston Villa are now unbeaten in 4 championship games
  • Aston Villa form – WWWDLL (7th Overall)
  • Middlesbrough form – LLDWWL (13th Overall)