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Oct 16, 2021 at 3pm UK
Aston VillaAston Villa
WolvesWolverhampton Wanderers
Ings (48'), McGinn (68')
Mings (61'), Watkins (81')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Saiss (80'), Coady (85'), Neves (90+5')
Neves (52'), Dendoncker (88')

Preview: Aston Villa vs. Wolverhampton Wanderers - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Aston Villa vs. Wolverhampton Wanderers - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Saturday's Premier League clash between Aston Villa and Wolverhampton Wanderers, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Villa Park plays host to a highly-anticipated West Midlands derby on Saturday lunchtime, as Aston Villa and Wolverhampton Wanderers lock horns in the Premier League.

Dean Smith's side suffered a 2-1 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur just before the international break, while Wolves marched to a 2-1 win over Newcastle United.

Match preview

There was little time for Smith and co to bask in the jubilation of beating Manchester United on their own turf last month, as Aston Villa were brought crashing back down to earth with a 2-1 defeat to an out-of-sorts Tottenham Hotspur on October 3.

Ollie Watkins would equalise in the second half after Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg had opened the scoring with 27 minutes played, but Matt Targett's own goal quickly propelled Spurs back into the ascendancy as Villa's topsy-turvy start to the new campaign continued.

With that loss halting Villa's momentum following previous wins over Everton and Man United, Smith's side find themselves smack-bang in the middle of the table in 10th place, but only ahead of Arsenal on goal difference.

On a positive note for the hosts, all three of their league defeats this season have come away from home, with Smith's side taking seven points from their first three fixtures at Villa Park this term and notching up six goals in that hot streak.

Villa have also shipped just one goal in front of their own fans this season so far and will hope to see the defeat to Tottenham prove to be just a minor blip in their quest for Europe, but their upcoming opponents are starting to find their feet under Bruno Lage.

Filling Nuno Espirito Santo's boots at Molineux was going to be a tough ask for whoever took the reins, but after a shaky start to life in the West Midlands, Lage appears to be working his magic to good effect given his side's recent run of results.

After a heart-warming goal for Raul Jimenez saw Wolves overcome Southampton 1-0 last month, the Molineux outfit made it back-to-back wins with a 2-1 success over Newcastle United, as Jimenez turned provider for a pair of Hwang Hee-chan strikes on home soil.

With the RB Leipzig loanee leading the charge alongside reinvigorated talisman Jimenez, Wolves have won three of their last four Premier League games to rise to 12th in the rankings and will temporarily leapfrog their upcoming opponents into the top half with all three points here.

Arsenal, West Ham United and Tottenham Hotspur are not in action on Saturday, meaning that Wolves could find themselves as high as eighth by the close of play on Saturday with a win, and they head to Villa Park having kept two clean sheets in their last two Premier League triumphs away from home.

Wolves did the double over Villa in the 2019-20 season but failed to score in either of their fixtures with Smith's side last term, losing 1-0 at Molineux before being held to a goalless stalemate at Villa Park back in March.

Aston Villa Premier League form:
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • L

Aston Villa form (all competitions):
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • L

Wolverhampton Wanderers Premier League form:
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W

Wolverhampton Wanderers form (all competitions):
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • W

Team News

Villa are one of several Premier League sides impacted by the international break, with South American duo Emiliano Martinez and Douglas Luiz highly uncertain due to their late returns from World Cup Qualifying, although Smith is hopeful that they will be involved.

Jed Steer could be handed a rare opportunity in goal if Martinez does not make it, while Luiz's possible absence could lead Smith to switch to a four-man defence with Jacob Ramsey and John McGinn pairing up in midfield.

Emiliano Buendia would benefit from such a move, but Bertrand Traore picked up an injury over the international break and joins Morgan Sanson as a doubt for this contest, while Leon Bailey has been ruled out.

As for Wolves, Yerson Mosquera, Pedro Neto and Jonny remain sidelined for the long-term, while Francisco Trincao contracted coronavirus earlier this month and will play no part in the derby.

Adama Traore has lost his place in the side to Hwang in recent weeks but should return on the right with Trincao absent, unless Lage decides to take a punt on Daniel Podence.

Lage must also decide whether to risk Raul Jimenez given that he played 30 minutes for Mexico against El Salvador on Thursday - netting a penalty in the process - but the visiting coach will hope to have his star striker available here.

Aston Villa possible starting lineup:
Martinez; Cash, Konsa, Mings, Targett; Buendia, McGinn, Ramsey, El Ghazi; Watkins, Ings

Wolverhampton Wanderers possible starting lineup:
Sa; Kilman, Coady, Saiss; Semedo, Neves, Moutinho, Marcal; Traore, Jimenez, Hwang

We say: Aston Villa 1-1 Wolverhampton Wanderers

With both managers facing selection dilemmas due to injuries and late arrivals back from international duty, a cagey affair could be in store during another low-scoring derby between the pair.

Villa have no problem finding the back of the net on home soil, but a Hwang-inspired Wolves are beginning to build momentum and can realistically harbour hopes of a point at Villa Park.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or draw in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home/Draw:data

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Premier League Table
3Manchester CityMan City106222061420
4West Ham UnitedWest Ham106222011920
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd105231915417
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves105141110116
8Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton104421111016
9Tottenham HotspurSpurs10505916-715
11Leicester CityLeicester104241517-214
13Crystal Palace102621314-112
15Aston Villa103161419-510
17Leeds UnitedLeeds102441017-710
19Newcastle UnitedNewcastle100461123-124
20Norwich CityNorwich10028325-222
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