Middlesbrough must overturn a one goal deficit at Villa Park if they’re to reach the Championship Play-off Final.
Both sides are now only two wins away from the Premier League so there’s plenty to play for tonight (KO 19:45)
Watch Aston Villa v Middlesbrough
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Aston Villa v Middlesbrough – What happened in the First Leg?
Mile Jedinak scored the only goal at the Riverside on Saturday to give Steve Bruce’s Aston Villa a deserved lead ahead of the return leg. Chances were few and far between in what was, as many probably expected, a cagey affair with neither side willing to push too many men forward.
Robert Snodgrass, who’s bagged eight goals and popped up with 13 assists already this season for Villa, tormented the Boro defence for large spells of the game. And he’s a decent looking 7/2 to score anytime.
Boro must take the game to Villa, so it’ll be interesting to see how Tony Pulis – a manager not renowned for playing free flowing, attacking football – goes about this one. If the visitors go all out from the first whistle then it’s likely to play into Villa’s hands who have pace and trickery in abundance on the counter attack.
On the road Tony Pulis’ side have struggled of late, winning just one of their last nine away games with four of those ending level. The draw is best priced at 9/4.
Aston Villa v Middlesbrough Team News
The hosts look set to be without defender Ahmed Elmohamady after limping off in the first leg. James Bree is likely to replace him. Jed Steer, Axel Tuanzebe and Andre Green remain sidelined through injury.
Boro meanwhile could be without Daniel Ayala. The defender suffered a blow to his knee on Saturday and faces a race against the clock to be fit in time. Rudy Gestede remains Boro’s only other absentee.
Aston Villa v Middlesbrough First Leg highlights
Aston Villa v Middlesbrough – The Caughtoffside Opinion
With seven wins, two draws and one defeat Villa have been in exceptional form at home and you’d expect them to make home advantage count this evening – Steve Bruce’s side have kept four clean sheets at Villa Park in their last five home outings, so it’ll be a tough ask for the Boro to find the net twice.
Lewis Grabban is in superb form for the home side, smashing four in his last six home appearances – the ex Sunderland man can be backed at 11/2 with Bet365 to find the net first.
The smart money however will be going on the home win – Aston Villa are a decent looking 13/10 to win in 90 minutes and that looks one selection that’s too good to pass up.
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