Two former Premier League heavyweights meet at Villa Park tonight as Aston Villa take on Leeds Utd with the Championship title race really hotting up.
The Festive football is coming thick and fast and with both these sides having realistic ambitions of a return to the top flight we could be in for a pulsating encounter.
Steve Bruce has come in as manager of the Midlands club and really turned things around, with the Villa now moving up to ninth spot in the Championship following a 2-1 win over Burton in their previous match.
Villa Park has become something of a fortress in recent weeks, with the side still unbeaten at home and gunning for their sixth home win on the bounce as the side really puts the afterburners on in their hunt for promotion to the Premier League.
Its been a dramatic turnaround for the Midlands outfit following a dismal run of form under the management of Italian Roberto Di Matteo and the side now look like serious contenders for at least a Championship playoff place as we approach the new year.
Garry Monk has similarly turned things around at Leeds, with the Yorkshire side now in fifth spot in the Championship and hunting an automatic promotion spot. The Lilywhites have improved dramatically and now sit handsomely in the division following eight wins out of their last ten games.
Both these sides will be desperate not to lose and its looking more and more like a pivotal match even as we approach 2017. It can’t be underestimated the work Steve Bruce has done at Villa Park and the 23/10 offers considerable appeal.
Leeds Utd will be looking to continue their fine away form and the 3/1 on them taking all three poinits back to Yorkshire also looks more than a touch of value.
It make be better however to plump for the draw at 5/2, with both sides eager not to lose.
Aston Villa and Swansea go head to head for Chelsea youngster
Aston Villa or Premiership new boys Swansea City are now favourites to land Chelsea FC youngster Josh McEachran on loan in January.
Chelsea are desperate to get McEachran, who turns 19 next March, some valuable experience on the pitch, something he has not been able to do at Stamford Bridge. Both Villa and Swansea are preapred to bring the youngster to their respective clubs under the proviso that he will need to be involved in first team matters.
McEachran has already been touted as one of England’s best up and coming central midfielders and is yet to play anywhere else apart from his childhood club.
The 18 year old is likely to be loaned out to one of the two Premiership sides despite being linked with a move to a few Championship sides over the last few months, and will remain at either club until the end of the season.
Villa are currently lacking experience in the midfield area so quite where McEchran will be able to fit in remains somewhat of a mystery. Swansea City on the other hand would welcome his quality and with the Welsh side having close ties with the West London side – manager Brendan Rodgers being a previous Chelsea youth team manager – it could be assumed that Swansea would be favourites.
Aston Villa vs Burton – Team News, Live Stream from Villa Park as Steve Bruce Resurgence Continues
There are plenty of things for Villa fans to smile about at the moment with the side turning the corner somewhat following the arrival of Steve Bruce to the Midlands Club.
Following a difficult period under the leadership of Roberto Di Matteo, the ex Hull man was brought in and has transformed the side to one which now has eyes on automatic promotion back to the Premier League.
With only two defeats in their last eight games, the side has risen to ninth in the table and there is now genuine optimism around the club that they can indeed push for a return back to the top flight.
A win last Sunday against QPR really boosted confidence, the winner coming from striker Jon Kodjia.
For a striker it’s important to score regularly. I hadn’t scored for three games but I did at QPR and that obviously made me happy and helped the team.
“I’m happy, the players are happy, the gaffer is happy – it was a good day.
“Against Norwich we had a bad game. The team did not play well, the whole team.
“But this weekend we were better and we won.
“Newcastle and Brighton are doing well and lots of teams at the top end of the table are going on winning runs and hopefully we can do the same.
The same cannot be said for Burton, who find themselves already in the midst of a relegation battle at the foot of the Championship, and things look pretty bleak as we approach the Christmas period.
Burton currently have the second worst away record in the division, having not won any of their last 11 trips on the road. The home win is suprisingly available at 8/11, which looks a tasty price considering Burton’s aformentioned away form and the recent home form of the Villa.
Steve Bruce’s side now look a tough outfit to break down and have won their last four matches at Villa Park on the bounce.
Its difficult not to get involved at that price and we’re confident that Steve Bruce’s side can conjure up another home win, which will surely push them into serious contenders for a playoff spot as we approach the New Year.
Brighton v Aston Villa Live Stream- Team News from Crunch Friday Night Clash at Amex
All eyes will be on the Amex Arena tonight as two sides with pedigree come up against each other as Aston Villa take on Brighton at the Amex Arena.
Both these sides will be looking to put on a decent run as both have very genuine ideas for promotion to the Premier League. For Aston Villa this season so far has proved something of a disappointment, with the side looking for an immediate return to the Premier League following last season’s relegation.
There are plenty of opportunities to watch this match through a Brighton v Aston Villa live stream.
Bet365 announced recently that they have streaming through their website, meaning you can watch the game through laptop, desktop and even through your mobile phone on the move.
You do have to make an initial stake to watch the game, but the picture does come in high quality and everything, as you would expect runs smoothly through the website.
We should be in for a mouthwatering affair between two sides who attract plenty of support.
For the latest Aston Villa team news visit the official site here.
Unfortunately, things have not exactly gone to plan with the side for the Villains, with Roberto Di Matteo dismissed after a string of disappointing results and Steve Bruce brought in to steady the ship and bring back the feel good factor to the Midlands outfit.
Bruce certainly has plenty of experience of guiding teams out of this division, and results have taken an upturn in recent months, with the side now five games unbeaten in the Championship, winning three of those, and the side is now nicely placed in 14th place and look ready to mount a serious challenge on the summit as we approach a busy Christmas period.
Indeed they may have to take a leaf out of Brighton, with the South Coast side absolutely flying at the moment and sit proudly in second place in England’s second tier.
Chris Hughton has done a remarkable job at the helm, with his side winning eight out of their last ten matches, and only losing twice all season, according to the BBC Brighton website.
In fact, promotion to the Premier League looks like it could well be on the cards with the side really looking threatening moving forward.
It could prove to be an absolute belter of a game, with both sides in superb form going into the International break.
Steve Bruce’s side will surely attract plenty of attention at a mouth watering price of 4/1, which does look a tasty price all things considered. Those who think Chris Hughton’s Brighton side can continue their remarkable run can pick up 4/5 on the home win, which does look a little short if we take into account the improvement by Steve Bruce’s side.
Both these teams would probably settle for a point, with the stalemate a very backable looking 5/2.
Whatever you decide, this one from the Championship is sure to get your footballing weekend off to a flyer, and after a mundane international break, its back to the nitty gritty of the English Football League.
And once this one’s over, don’t forget that Arsenal face Manchester Utd in the early kickoff on Saturday!
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