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Aston Villa vs Brighton: Tricky first test for Gerrard

Kick-off: 1500, 20/11/2021

Stadium: Villa Park

Steven Gerrard is back in the Premier League but Brighton could make it a tricky return to England for the former Liverpool captain.

Gerrard has been appointed as Villa’s new head coach in place of Dean Smith, who was sacked following a run of five successive defeats.

The former Rangers boss will have had little time to work with the squad this week and we’re backing the draw at 11/5 as our first Aston Villa vs Brighton prediction.

Aston Villa Odds

Villa have slipped to 16th in the table and have been cut to 5/1 in the Premier League relegation odds after their poor run of form which resulted in Smith’s departure.

The team appears to have lost its identity this season and Villa have been struggling both with the ball and out of possession.

Only the bottom two of Norwich and Newcastle have conceded more goals so it is easy to see why the board felt a change was needed while replacing Jack Grealish has proved harder than they would have liked.

Gerrard’s success at Rangers made him the obvious choice to succeed Smith and he is confident the only way is up having spoken to owners Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens.

“Aston Villa is a club with a rich history and tradition in English football and I am immensely proud to become its new head coach,” said the 41-year-old.

“In my conversations with Nassef, Wes and the rest of the board, it was apparent how ambitious their plans are for the club and I am looking forward to helping them achieve their aims.”

It may take time for their fortunes to improve, though. Villa have the worst first-half record in the Premier League this season and have conceded the first goal in seven of their 11 matches.

Looking at the Aston Villa vs Brighton odds, we like 9/5 for the Seagulls to open the scoring in the first half.

Last Aston Villa line-up: Martinez, Cash, Targett, Mings, Tuanzebe, McGinn, Buendia, Nakamba, El Ghazi, Watkins, Bailey.

Douglas Luiz is not expected to return in time due to a hamstring injury. Fellow midfielders Morgan Sanson (illness) and Trezeguet (knee) are also absent.

Central defender Ezri Konsa is back in contention after serving a one-game ban.

Brighton Odds

Brighton have become the draw specialists in the Premier League after sharing the points in five of their last six matches.

Four wins from their first five games saw the Seagulls make a flying start to the campaign but they have failed to win a match since the 2-1 victory at home to Leicester on September 19.

Being held to a 1-1 draw at home against Newcastle last time out was disappointing, especially after going ahead through Leandro Trossard’s first-half penalty.

Scoring goals remains an issue, with only 12 netted in 11 matches, and four draws with Villa in the last six league meetings highlights why we expect a close contest here.

Three of those ended 1-1 so let’s back the same outcome again at 21/4 for the last of our Aston Villa vs Brighton betting tips.

Last Brighton line-up: Sanchez, Lamptey, Cucurella, Dunk, Duffy, Veltman, Bissouma, Mwepu, Lallana, March, Trossard.

Goalkeeper Robert Sanchez is suspended so Jason Steele, who plays in the cup competitions for the Seagulls, will be handed his Premier League debut.

Enock Mwepu is out with a muscle strain, but Aaron Connolly is fit following a heel injury.

Additional Aston Villa vs Brighton stats

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