Premier League Aston Villa vs Leeds United tips preview: Fiery clash anticipated at Villa Park

As Aston Villa and Leeds United get the weekend's Premier league action under way, Tipstrr football expert Paul Bathurst expects that some bad blood could create a feisty encounter on Friday night.

Under pressure Leeds United boss Jesse Marsch will hope for some good fortune when his side travel to Villa Park on the ominous date of Friday the 13th.

Back in early October, the reverse fixture between these two ended 0-0, and while goalmouth action came at premium, the referee had a busy game following numerous robust challenges from both sides throughout.

That feisty affair featured five yellow cards, along with a red for Leeds' Luis Sinisterra, and a massive 35 fouls combined - for reference, the average foul count in a Premier League match is approximately 21.

Perhaps the reason for such a spirited encounter could be old grudges from a pre-season friendly in Brisbane, Australia back in July, a game which Aston Villa won 1-0, thanks to a Danny Ings penalty.

The game was marred by a horrific challenge from Villa's Scotland international John McGinn, causing his victim, 16-year-old Leeds starlet, Archie Gray, to be stretchered off with his leg in a brace.

Leeds fans and various pundits heavily condemned the challenge, especially with it coming in a meaningless friendly match. While football fans especially hold grudges, so too can players, and it is not beyond the realms of possibility that a struggling Leeds side that is fighting relegation will make this another highly intense affair on Friday night.

Both sides rank poorly in discipline statistics, which take yellow and red cards into account. Villa are third-worst with 41 yellows and a single red in just 18 games, whereas Leeds are seventh with 36 cautions and two reds in 17 matches.

Michael Oliver is the referee assigned to keep this encounter under control, and he is an official who likes to keep his cards in his pocket when he can. Oliver, who officiated at the Qatar World Cup, averages 3.14 yellow cards per game, which is way below the league average of 3.60.

With the referee being a little on the conservative side, it explains why the card lines offered from bookmakers appear a little low. I'd expect at least four bookings in this one, which makes the odds against Over 4.5 Cards appear to be a tasty selection.

In terms of players likely to pick up a caution, Matty Cash, if named in the starting XI, could be a wise move as he is likely to face the dribbling ability of Leeds youngster, Crysencio Summerville, who is a challenging opponent to handle.

With his love for a strong tackle, Poland international Cash is no stranger to a yellow or two, and if Summerville runs at him, there's a distinct possibility of Cash mistiming a challenge or being forced into a professional foul. Cash is handily priced at around 4/1 to pick up his 4th yellow card of the season.

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