Aston Villa vs West Brom: Defeat at Villa Park will edge Baggies closer to relegation

Anything but a win for West Brom against Aston Villa could all but seal their fate as a Championship club next season, as Dean Smith's side look to remain on course for a top half finish,

Best bets

Dean Smith's side have eight more wins than the Baggies this season, having scored 16 more goals than them.

Aston Villa to win, most corners in each half and most shots on target in each half is priced at 12/1 on Paddy Power.

Ollie Watkins and Matheus Pereira have both enjoyed impressive campaigns for their respectful clubs this season.

Each player to have 1+ shot on target in each half is 11/1 on Sky Bet.

Anwar El Ghazi has proven his worth to the Villans on a number of occasions so far this season.

The Dutchman to have 4+ shots and the game to produce over 2.5 goals is priced at 23/10 on Coral.

Baggies are miles away from a second great escape

It's looking like Big Sam may have finally failed in one of his missions. With just six games to go, West Brom sit 19th in the Premier League, 10 points from safety having won five games all season.

Despite glimmers of individual brilliance through the likes of Matheus Pereira, Sam Johnstone and Conor Gallagher and a handful of impressive wins including that 5-2 thrashing of Chelsea, Allardyce's ideology has been far from implemented at the Hawthorns.

Based on resolute snatch-and-grab victories and robust defensive displays, Allardyce has been a revelation in ensuring the survival of a number of notable Premier League clubs, but his stint in the Midlands etches a slight black mark on this reputation.

The Baggies have conceded the most goals in the league this season with 62 and possess the second worst goal difference with -34, only bettering already relegated Sheffield United.

With fixtures against Arsenal, LiverpoolWest Ham and Leeds United, the Baggies need a miracle to have any hopes of emulating a great escape, especially if Brighton continue to grind out important results.

A win in this Midlands clash would ensure they go down with a fight however.

Head-to-head in the Premier League

Played: 21

Aston Villa wins: 8

Draws: 9

West Brom wins: 4

Aston Villa goals: 28

West Brom goals: 22

Last three meetings in the Premier League

West Brom 0-3 Aston Villa (December 20, 2020)

An Anwar El Ghazi brace and goal from Bertrand Traore ensured an impressive victory for Villa at The Hawthorns earlier this season as West Brom's woes worsened in Allardyce's first match in the managerial hot seat.

Following the Dutchman's opener after just five minutes, the Baggies luck had all but ran out when Jake Livermore was dismissed on the stroke of half time.

Villa scored two goals in the last 10 minutes as El Ghazi completed his brace and Traore got in on the action, further reiterating to Allardyce the work that had to be done.

West Brom 0-0 Aston Villa (January 23, 2016)

Aston Villa's disastrous Premier League campaign continued as a 0-0 draw away from home saw them remain rock bottom of the table after 23 games.

Villa came closest of the two to breaking the deadlock, as Andre Ayew's fierce appeals for a penalty were waved away and Ashley Westwood's low-driven shot was blocked, the hosts failed to register a single shot on target.

Dawson and Sessegnon both registered wayward efforts for Albion, as a forgettable occasion for both parties ended goalless.

Aston Villa 0-1 West Brom (September 19, 2015)

Saido Berahino silenced a number of critics who had criticised the striker for his behaviour and attitudes off the pitch, scoring the winner for West Brom at Villa Park.

Both sides had chances to go ahead but it was the Baggies striker who broke the all-impart deadlock on the hour-mark, steering James Morrison's effort home.

A win for West Brom saw them move up to 10th while Villa fell to 17th after six games had been played.

Villa can still end season on a high

After fighting tooth-and-nail to ensure survival on the final day last season, Smith's side have had a much smoother campaign this time around, and it speaks volumes that fans and players alike are disappointed at the wondrous prospect of European football evading them.

With seven games left to play, the club already have nine more points than their final tally last season, have scored three more goals and boast a positive goal difference turnaround of 35.

Despite making a brilliant start to the first half of the campaign, Smith's side have struggled in their recent run of games as of late, winning one game in their last seven since their 1-0 victory over Leeds at Elland Road.

Irrespective of this however, the Midlands outfit possess enough creative flair, goalscoring threat and the fearless mindset to secure an impressive top-10 finish by May.

It is crucial for Villa to stabilise their form in the final Premier League run-in as they look to plan ahead for next season and bolster their squad, and this fixture gives them a perfect opportunity to do so.

Goalscoring bets

With a potential place in England's squad at Euro 2020 beckoning him, it is important that Ollie Watkins maintains the impressive performances that grabbed Gareth Southgate's attention in the first place.

The Villa striker is priced at 14/1 on Paddy Power to score within the opening 20 minutes.

John McGinn scored after 20 seconds against champions-to-be Manchester City in mid-week, with his second Premier League goal of the season.

McGinn to score anytime is 11/2 on Sky Bet.

Keinan Davis has emerged as one of the crucial youngsters at Dean Smith's disposal in recent weeks.

Davis is 5/1 to score anytime on Coral.

Score Prediction: Aston Villa 3-0 West Brom

Goalscorers: Ollie Watkins (2), El Ghazi

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