Aston Villa vs Bournemouth – Analysis, Prediction, Team News
Saturday 18th March 2023
As part of our weekend Premier League predictions, we take a look at Bournemouth’s visit to Villa Park. Both sides are in decent form – does this have the potential to be close? Read on with our Aston Villa vs Bournemouth prediction.
Aston Villa vs Bournemouth Match Preview
Aston Villa come into this match in good form, although they will have been disappointed with the manner of their performance in the second half of their 1-1 draw away to West Ham. Villa failed to make a convincing case for winning the game and were often second-best against a side who have struggled domestically this season. While the Hammers aren’t an especially poor team as is often the case with sides who struggle in the Premier League nowadays, Villa would likely have targeted that game as a source of three valuable points to keep them in contention for a European spot.
As it stands, Unai Emery’s men have extended the gap to 12th-placed Crystal Palace to eight points, and remain in contention for a European place as they are seven points behind 6th-placed Liverpool and 7th-placed Brighton. With Aston Villa taking seven points from their previous three matches, they could be coming back into form at just the right time following a shaky patch of form that saw them concede 11 goals in just three matches against Leicester, Manchester City and Arsenal.
Bournemouth produced a shock 1-0 victory over Liverpool in their last Premier League outing, but we are keen to stress that it was no smash-and-grab raid as you might expect had you not watched the game or highlights. While the xG stat was weighted in Liverpool’s favour by 1.89 – 0.97, a penalty’s xG is 0.76 by default which changes the value of that particular statistic. As Mohammed Salah blazed his penalty wide, Liverpool lost their major chance to get back on level terms and Bournemouth were able to close the game out.
So where does this leave the south coast side? They’re now off the foot of the table by two points ahead of Southampton, and they’re level on points with Leicester and West Ham who are in 16th and 17th position. A few weeks ago, this would have been considered an unlikely scenario for O’Neil’s men, but recently they have confounded the critics with some impressive displays. For example, they employed an excellent game plan against Arsenal that was ultimately undone by Arsenal’s superior quality – however, they were 2-0 up at the hour mark.
Injuries and Suspensions
Might Not Play: Coutinho, Steer
Will Not Play: Dendoncker, Kamara
Might Not Play: Stanislas
Will Not Play: Smith, Tavernier, Zabarnyi
Aston Villa vs Bournemouth Lineups (Predicted)
Aston Villa (4-4-1-1): Martinez; Romero, Mings, Konsa, Cash; Luiz, McGinn, Ramsey, Bailey; Buendia; Watkins
Bournemouth (5-4-1): Neto; Kelly, Mepham, Senesi, Stephens, Smith; Lerma, Billing, Ouattara, Traore; Solanke
Aston Villa vs Bournemouth Analysis
Villa Will be Patient
Bournemouth have ably demonstrated their attacking credentials against better teams than this Aston Villa side, so while the temptation may be there to dominate possession, pin Bournemouth back in their own half while trying to probe and force openings, it’s probably not the approach that an experienced coach such as Unai Emery will implement. We think that Villa are better served by playing a little bit deeper than you might expect them to do against a relegation-threatened side, as they can still come out on top playing like that.
What we mean by this is that Villa can turn this into a battle of attrition where they would normally expect to come out on top via individual quality and the likelihood that they will create the clearer chances over the course of 90 minutes. They created just one shot on target against Crystal Palace and took it – but crucially limited their opponents to just one shot, which was off target, over the course of 90 minutes. They defeated Everton, who don’t prioritise possession, 2-0 but only had 53% possession. We think that if Villa are a bit more cautious and play a little deeper, they can reduce Bournemouth to playing for half-chances, defensive mistakes and set-piece opportunities.
Bournemouth Need a Different Game Plan
Bournemouth for their part will probably revert to a back five here, which might not be intuitive because they played with a four against Liverpool, but the dynamic of this match is different. Liverpool provided acres of space for Bournemouth to attack into, whereas Villa won’t, so it makes sense to approach this game a bit differently. They’re going to need to introduce more hold-up play and allow others to play off Solanke because Villa won’t be giving them as many opportunities to get in behind their defence as they’ll be playing with a lower defensive line.
Much of Bournemouth’s potential for success in this match will hinge upon them gaining the upper hand in midfield and adequately supporting Solanke. They’ll need to be able to do this while being outnumbered in the final third, as they need to be wary of Aston Villa’s considerable threat in transition, and if they’re not cautious enough they could find themselves conceding clear chances against a side with the crowd behind them. What we see here is Bournemouth being forced into a situation where they have to abandon the low block because that will leave far too much space in midfield.
We expect that this fixture has the potential to be a rather dull one. Not because the teams involved are especially poor, but because both teams will be wary of the threat of the other team in transition. More so than usual – neither team here prioritises possession, preferring instead to go for the throat with direct, sweeping counters (but not long ball, generally).
So, in a war of attrition, normally you’d expect the team with more quality at their disposal to eventually come through with the victory, and that’s Aston Villa. Allied to the fact that they have home advantage, we feel they have enough ability, and will be cautious enough, to keep Bournemouth out over the course of the game and to nick a winner. We give Bournemouth credit for their recent upturn in form by not predicting a comfortable victory for the home side.
Aston Villa 1-0 Bournemouth
Aston Villa vs Bournemouth Betting Tip – Aston Villa Odds:
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