On Saturday afternoon, Aston Villa will be back in action on home soil, as they take on Bournemouth at Villa Park (3pm). The visitors will be looking for another huge three points following their surprising win against Liverpool, while the hosts bid to go four games unbeaten for the first time since October. What gives? This preview plans to work this Premier League game out before deciding on betting tips.
Given that they took the lead in East London, the Villans may have been disappointed to return home with just a share of the spoils to show for their efforts, but on balance, they could have few complaints. That result came after back-to-back wins against Everton and Crystal Palace and thus signalled three Premier League games without defeat, which is a real positive for a team that has struggled somewhat for consistency.
The visitors arrive here off the back of massive win last time out. Few people expected the Cherries to make much headway against a Liverpool side that was coming off the back of a thunderous victory against Manchester United, but that did not stop Gary O’Neill’s men from upsetting their visitors. After not only beating, but shutting out top four contenders, the Bournemouth squad will go to Villa Park with renewed confidence, which given their away form is important.
AVFC capable at home
You certainly wouldn’t say that this Villa team is impossible to face at home, and their record is slightly patchy. However, against the lesser teams in the EPL, they have been slightly more predictable, and not in a bad way. Home wins against Everton, Brentford, Southampton, Leeds and Crystal Palace suggest that the Villans are more than capable of doing the business when expected to at home.
What is also positive is the fact that they tend to score goals against such teams, notching twice against bottom-half opposition such as Leicester and Leeds in recent times. In fact, they have found scoring goals at home quite easy in general, notching two or more in four of their last three at Villa Park. They have scored in their last eight Premier League games in front of a home crowd. This bodes well ahead of a game against an AFC Bournemouth team that has been poor defensively on the road.
AFCB travelling troubles
Bournemouth’s survival was probably always going to go down to their ability to make Vitality Stadium a fortress and we should not be surprised that they have a poor away record. As things stand, in terms of points collected, only three Premier League teams have performed worse than the Cherries on the road, and only just at that.
Saturday’s visitors have won just two out of 13 away games, losing nine of the other 11. Why is their record so poor? You could cite numerous reasons, but high on the list must be defensive weakness. They have kept only one clean sheet away from home and have conceded two or more goals in ten out of 13, shipping a very worrying total of 35 goals. No Premier League team has conceded more away goals this term.
Cherries on top in this fixture
Aston Villa have struggled against Bournemouth in recent times. When the teams met earlier in the campaign, Bournemouth won by two goals to nil at Vitality Stadium, though that was on match-day one and plenty has changed since.
The visitors will still hope to use that win as a platform for success here, plus they will be feeling good about their record in this fixture in general. They have won each of their last four games against Aston Villa, winning on their last trip to Villa Park back in 2019. Somewhat strangely, Aston Villa have only ever beaten AFCB once at home.
Home goals on the cards
Unai Emery’s men arrive here in decent form. They went toe-to-toe with the Hammers on the road last time out and performed reasonably well, while they won last time out in front of a home crowd.
This game now represents an excellent opportunity for them to shift through the gears offensively, as they have often done against struggling rear guards at home. For example, they have scored twice against both Leicester and Leeds at home in 2023.
At the prices, ‘Aston Villa to Score Over 1.5 Goals’ makes lots of appeal. Not only do they average a reasonable 1.53 goals for per home game, but the visitors simply cannot keep teams quiet at home. That can act as the real catalyst for offensive success for the hosts.
As mentioned in this preview above, the Cherries have conceded at least twice in 10 of their 13 away games, conceding two or more in seven out of eight away against teams currently ranked 12th and above.
In terms of expected goals against, the visitors have been a disaster on the road, surrendering an average of 2.00 expected goals per game. That should be music to the ears of Villas creative and attacking players.
Watkins won’t wait
AVFC’s top scorer Ollie Watkins has been in fine form since the turn of the year, showing that he is very much a form player. When he’s hot, he’s hot, and it’s worth betting that he doesn’t wait around for his next goal. The forward has notched in six of his last seven Premier League starts, scoring in two of his last three at home.
Against a Bournemouth back line that has often been all over the place on the road, the Villa hitman is unlikely to be without chances. Given his current form, the defensive form of the visitors and the fact that Watkins has averaged two shots on target per game in his last three, odds of 13/8 are worth taking.
So these are our betting tips for this AVFC vs AFCB preview:
- Aston Villa to score over 1.5 goals (also known as ‘home goals’ market) @ 4/5 with Bet365, Betfred or William Hill.
- Ollie Watkins to score at any time @ 13/8 with Bet365.
Bradley Gibbs is an experienced football writer. He is an expert analyst on Premier League, and all global football leagues & tournaments, for Just Bookies. Bradley has been published by many respected outlets, including USA Betting and the Racing & Football Outlook. He has also written betting strategy guides.