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Aston Villa vs Legia tips and predictions: Back vengeful Villains to thrash out-of-depth visitors

Aston Villa can take control of the group and secure qualification for the knockout round of the Europa Conference League with a win against Legia Warsaw.

With nine points, Aston Villa and Legia Warsaw need one more to be sure of their place in the knockout round, although they may be confirmed as the top two by kick-off.

Legia’s 3-2 win over Unai Emery’s side remains their only defeat in the competition and gives the Polish group leaders a slight advantage in the standings.

The recent introduction of the Europa Conference League play-offs, which pits teams finishing second in their group against Europa League dropouts, is worth avoiding.

At the time of writing, teams such as Olympiakos, Brighton, Toulouse, Villareal and AEK Athens could still finish third in their group.

A trip to Spain or Greece might appeal to Villa fans but they’ll be better off topping the group and given their fantastic home form, we expect them to.

The Villains have reeled off 13 consecutive home wins in the Premier League and have beaten Hibernian, Zrinjski and AZ in the Europa League.

 

On the other hand, the Polish side isn’t in the best of form having failed to win seven of 11 and their record against Europe’s elite doesn’t make for pretty reading.

In nine matches played away to teams from Europe’s top five divisions since 2000, Legia have lost eight of nine and have conceded 34 goals.

It’s a small sample size spread across this century, but shipping 3.7 goals per game does show the difference in quality between the leagues.

Villa have scored three or more in seven of 10 home games and should fly out of the traps after their impressive win over Spurs.

An emerging trend is Villa finding the net in both halves, a feat they’ve accomplished in six of 10 at home and five of their last seven home and away.

Team news

Emi Buendia, Tyrone Mings, Bertrand Traore and Boubacar Kamara are ruled out due to injury, but Nicolo Zaniolo will hope to be fit.

Unai Emery can’t afford to rotate too much in pursuit of the group but the likes of Youri Tielemans, Leon Bailey and Jacob Ramsey could see extended minutes.

Clement Lenglet featured against AZ Alkmaar last time out and with Kamara out, Leander Dendoncker is the obvious replacement if Douglas Luiz is rested.

Key stats

- Aston Villa have won 13 straight Premier League games and all four Europa Conference League fixtures at Villa Park.
- Ollie Watkins has scored six goals in his last six appearances at Villa Park.
- Since 2000, Legia are 0-1-8 against teams from Europe’s top five leagues. They’ve conceded 34 goals, an average of 3.7 per game.

Suggested bets

Aston Villa to score in both halves

Aston Villa -1.5 Asian handicap

Ollie Watkins to score

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