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  • Lille Vs Aston Villa Tips And Predictions: Villans To Book Semi Final Spot

Lille vs Aston Villa tips and predictions: Villans to book semi-final spot

Aston Villa look to book their spot in the Europa Conference League semi-finals on Thursday night as they take a slender lead to Lille in the second leg of their quarter-final (2000 BST).

Unai Emery's side will be on cloud nine after their brilliant 2-0 win at Arsenal on Sunday put them back in the box seat for Champions League football following Tottenham's slip up at Newcastle.

Now attention turns back to the European competition that they're currently in, the Europa Conference League.

The Villans won last week's home leg 2-1, with goals from Ollie Watkins and captain John McGinn giving the Premier League side a 2-0 lead but Bafode Diakite gave Paulo Fonseca's troops a way back into the tie with a late goal.

Lille have been imperious at home this season, they have the best home record in Ligue 1, claiming 33 points from a possible 42, which has brought them into contention for a Champions League place.

The Villa defence will not like the prospect of facing Canadian striker Jonathan David, who has 30 goal contributions in 40 appearances across all competitions and is in red hot form, scoring eight in his last seven Ligue 1 matches.

While it sounds like a tough task on paper, Villa have plenty of quality in their own ranks, especially Watkins who backed up his goal in the first leg with a superb finish at the Emirates last weekend.

The England striker now has 36 goal involvements in 45 appearances across all competitions this season and will be determined to lead Villa to a first major trophy since 1996. 

He will be buoyed by that fact that Fonseca's side have not kept a clean sheet in their last four home games, so the Villans will definitely think that they'll be able to grab a goal at some point.

There should be plenty of goals in this one too as in their nine games in the competition so far, Villa have scored 18 goals, an average of 2 per game and Lille have scored 15. 

It will be a tough test for the Villans, but if Emery's men can pull out a performance like they did at Arsenal, then they should have enough to win the tie with their slim one-goal advantage. 

 

Team news

Lille will be without Samuel Umtiti and Angel Gomes, who are both ruled out with injury.

Boubacar Kamara, Emiliano Buendia, Tyrone Mings and Jacob Ramsey are all unavailable for the visitors.

 

Key stats

- The two sides have met just three times before, in last week's first leg and twice in the 2002 Intertoto Cup and the head-to-head stands at one Villa win, one Lille win and one draw.

- Lille have lost just once at home this season across all competitions

- Jonathan David has scored in eight of his last seven league matches

- Ollie Watkins has scored in his last two Conference League appearances

- Aston Villa have lost just six away games out of 23 in all competitions this season

 

Suggested bets

Aston Villa to win the tie

Ollie Watkins to score in 90 minutes

Over 2.5 match goals

 

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