Championship fixtures don’t get much bigger than Aston Villa vs. Derby County and the two sides go head to head at Villa Park later in what could prove to be a pivotal game in the race for a top six finish.
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With Fulham taking all three points against Sunderland last night, third placed Cardiff will look to retake second spot as they face Hull City.
Aston Villa head into the game full of confidence after thrashing Ipswich 4-0 away from home last weekend – a result which extends their winning streak to three games.
And having already secured a play off spot the Villans remain four points adrift of Cardiff in second, but with just two games remaining their chances of sneaking into the automatic promotion spots looks highly unlikely.
Aston Villa Press Conference: Steve Bruce
Derby, too, have top six aspirations. After three league defeats on the bounce, the Rams got back to winning ways in spectacular fashion by beating high flying Cardiff 3-1 at Pride Park on Tuesday.
The result lifted them back into the playoffs at the expense of Millwall.
Derby v Cardiff Match Highlights
Gabby Agbonlahor, who is out of contract at Villa Park this summer, said he’s considering his options and hasn’t ruled out retiring all together. The Villa academy graduate has been contracted to the club for over 13 years and could feature against Derby.
Derby will have to be at their very best in the final third if they’re to break down a stout Villa defence that has kept five clean sheets in their last six league games.
Aston Villa win to nil is priced at 11/5.
Luckily the Rams have one of the league’s most prolific strikers in Matej Vydra and he’s 13/2 to open the scoring.
This is a game that could go either way, Villa aren’t guaranteed to play their strongest side with one eye on the playoffs while Derby will be doing all they can to secure a playoff spot.
But with home advantage it’s Villa who edge the betting at EVS while Derby are 3/1 to bag all three points and the draw is 5/2.
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