Aston Villa vs Leicester City Preview & Premier League Game Betting Tips: Profit From Defensive Issues

James MaddisonAston Villa take on Leicester in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon (3pm). Can the hosts make it three wins from three? Or will the visitors go on a winning run of their own after winning in the FA Cup last time out? All will be revealed by this AVFC vs LCFC preview and our betting tips for the EPL game.

After they crashed out of the FA Cup at home to League Two opposition, Unai Emery’s Aston Villa needed to bounce back, and bounce back they have. First, they got the better of Leeds in front of a home crowd, thanks to goals from Leon Bailey and Emiliano Buendia, both of whom needed to up their attacking output. That victory was followed by a win on the south coast, as Ollie Watkins headed home late in the day to a 0-1 win over Southampton.

The Villans are now just one point off the top half, while the European spots aren’t completely out of the question if they can keep moving in the right direction.

It has been an odd season for the Foxes, whose form continues to be patchy. Fortunately, they have made positive moves in recent weeks. A draw against Brighton is nothing to be ashamed of this season, while they did what was expected of them last time out by beating Walsall in the FA Cup, even if it did take them until well in the second half finally to breakthrough.

Worryingly, though, they have not won any of their last five Premier League games. More worrying still is the fact that they have picked up just one point from those five games. Brendan Rodger’s men need to improve, there can be no getting away from that fact.

Home form not overly appealing

The hosts come into this game in solid form having won their last two, but if we look at their recent efforts at home, they have been far from consistent. Offensively, they tend to carry a threat having scored in each of their six home games since Emery took charge, but they are yet to keep a clean sheet, which is a problem.

Moreover, the Villans have scored no more than they have conceded at home under their current manager, shipping eight and scoring eight. Last time out against Leeds, we once again saw that they are capable of creating chances and scoring goals, but the fact that they came out on top had little to do with being defensively secure. They allowed 2.4 expected goals and probably had poor opposition finishing to thank for their win.

Visitors not keeping teams quiet

While AVFC have struggled to keep teams out at home of late, Leicester have found it incredibly tough to keep their opponents quiet in general. The Foxes arrive at this juncture having conceded at least once in each of their last five league games. They have conceded two or more in four of those five.

We finally saw more of an offensive threat last time out against Brighton, but yet again they were unable to prevent their opponents from getting serious in the final third, while their last-ditch resistance was typically poor.

If we look solely at Leicester’s away form, then it’s rather bleak. They have shipped 23 goals in 10 away games, and it is in fact their leaky defence that lies behind their lack of travelling points. Offensively, they know how to hurt teams having scored 17 goals on the road, which makes them the fourth-best goal-scoring away team in the division this term, but they have the second worst defensive record, and that is the problem.

No clear dominance

In recent times, neither side has dominated this fixture. Both teams have won two of the last five renewals, while they left the pitch level when they last met back in April 2022, drawing 0-0 at King Power Stadium.

Interestingly, when they meet at Villa Park, the goals tend to go in. Since 2016, this game has taken place five times at this venue, and three or more goals have been scored in each of those five. Both teams have also scored in each of those five.

Goals to arrive at Villa Park

Both teams have defensive issues right now, and that lends itself to a high-scoring game.

Since Emery took charge at Villa Park, Saturday’s hosts have scored and conceded in each of their six home games, four of which have contained at least three goals. Couple this with Leicester’s average of being involved in games containing 4.00 goals per game on the road in the EPL this term and a high-scoring game starts to really appeal.

The chances of goals all round appear even great when we factor in that there has been an average of 3.39 expected goals produced in Leicester’s away games this term.

Everything points towards the nets being rippled several times at Villa Park on Saturday afternoon and punters can take advantage by siding with ‘Over 2.5 Goals & Both Teams to Score’. After all, you would have to go back to 2016 in the records to see the last time that less than three goals were shared between the pair at this venue.

Maddison to make instant impression

James Maddison’s return to fitness gives Leicester a huge boost and the Englishman, who started in the FA Cup last time out, looks worth betting on to come back with a bang at sizable odds of 9/2.

In a more advanced role this season, the 26-year-old has scored seven goals in 14 appearances, averaging 0.56 goals per 90 minutes. Far from shot-shy, Leicester’s number ten also averages 3.21 shots per game, and with him likely to be desperate to get back amongst the goals after a spell out. It is worth betting that one of those shots flies in.

So these are our betting tips for this AVFC vs LCFC Premier League match preview:

  • Over 2.5 Goals & Both Teams to Score @ 6/5 with Bet365 or William Hill.
  • James Maddison to score at any time @ best odds of 9/2 with Bet365.