Kick-off: 1230, 12/12/2020
TV: BT Sport
Wolves had their limitations exposed when beaten at Liverpool last weekend but have generally been playing well in the Premier League.
Wanderers, who had won four and drawn two of their previous seven games, should find Aston Villa more conducive company, with the visitors losing four of their last five fixtures.
Nuno Espirito Santo’s side did the double over their Midlands rivals in this competition last term.
They are fancied to come out on top again and 13/10 for a home win is our first Wolves vs Aston Villa prediction.
A Look At Wolverhampton Wanderers’ Betting Odds
Wolves struggled throughout against Liverpool at Anfield, with the Reds running out convincing 4-0 victors.
Wanderers were awarded a penalty in the first half after Sadio Mane clashed with Conor Coady, but referee Craig Pawson had a change of heart following a VAR referral.
Nuno knows he has to find a way around the unfortunate problem of being without key striker Raul Jimenez, who is recovering from a fractured skull.
“Not having Raul is a blow,” admitted the manager. “We were trying to occupy the same position with different players, but we were not able to do it.
“But we must find solutions inside of the team so we can keep on progressing. That is the situation now, so it is up to us to find the right solutions.”
News that Jimenez has been discharged from hospital and is resting at home will at least have been a big relief to his teammates, who can now focus on coping without the Mexico forward.
With more time to adapt, we feel Wolves will benefit from a tweak in tactics, as they did when winning 2-1 at Arsenal after Jimenez was stretchered off early on.
It could take a bit to warm to the task, though, so 9/2 for Wanderers to be drawing at half-time and then prevail appeals from the Wolves vs Aston Villa odds.
Last Wolves line-up: Rui Patricio, Marcal, Boly, Coady, Semedo, Podence, Moutinho, Dendoncker, Neto, Jimenez, Traore.
Wolves are still waiting on a timeframe for when Jimenez can return while wing-back Jonny remains sidelined with the serious knee injury he sustained at the end of last season.
A Look At Aston Villa’s Betting Odds
Villa put last season’s relegation scare behind them when starting this term with four straight Premier League wins, including an incredible 7-2 thrashing of Liverpool.
However, they were brought back down to earth with that run of four defeats in five games prior to last week’s clash with Newcastle being called off due to coronavirus issues.
Dean Smith’s side have still been positive going forward during that period, scoring eight times and notably winning 3-0 away to Arsenal.
However, their defence has been leaking goals, with 11 conceded, including four in the first hour versus Southampton at home.
Smith is hoping last weekend’s rest proves a blessing, giving them more time to address recent issues after a 2-1 loss at West Ham.
He told the club website: “Because we haven’t got the game, we’ve got the opportunity on the training ground to do some work.
“We did our debrief with the players after the West Ham game and it was a positive one because we played ever so well. We were unlucky not to come away with three points – let alone a defeat.
“We’ve spoken about the small details that would have helped us with the goals we conceded. At the end of the day, they were disappointing goals to concede.”
It’s still hard to see Villa abandoning their usual attack-minded tactics, though, so an entertaining encounter is expected at Molineux.
That makes 11/4 for a home win and over 2.5 goals in the game worth adding to our Wolves vs Aston Villa betting tips.
Last Villa line-up: Martinez, Cash, Konsa, Mings, Targett, Luiz, McGinn, Grealish, Hourihane, Trezeguet, Watkins.
Ross Barkley is making progress in his recovery from injury but the Villa midfielder will not be fit in time for the trip to Molineux.
Bjorn Engels is back in contention after a long lay-off with a thigh injury, the game is likely to come too soon for Keinan Davis (ankle) but Tom Heaton is closing in on a return.
Liverpool 4-0 WOLVES
West Ham 2-1 ASTON VILLA – Jack Grealish
Head-to-head: Aston Villa 0-1 Wolves, Wolves 2-1 Aston Villa, Aston Villa 2-1 Wolves
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