Aston Villa kick off their new Premier League season with a clash against Sheffield United this Monday night.
The Villains are 8/5 favourites to take all three points however, Sheffield United aren’t far off having been priced at the 7/4 mark.
The Blades will certainly remember their last visit to Villa Park which saw a goal-line technology failure which arguably cost Sheffield the win.
Over the last two years, it’s United who have had the upper hand in this fixture having won two and drawn two of the last four head to head meetings.
Villa’s last win against United came all the way back in January 2018 when they picked up a 1-0 at Bramall Lane. However, in order to find their last home win against the South Yorkshire side, you need to go back all the way to 2007.
Sheffield may not have got off to the best of starts this season having lost 2-0 to Wolverhampton and then Burnley in the cup but, at the price of 7/4 they’re certainly good value and should definitely be considered ahead of Monday’s game.
Bearing everything in mind, our recommendation is to back the visitors to win this game 2-1. This correct score bet is currently priced at 9/1 with both Betfair and PaddyPower.
This is a very close match-up. In 10,000 simulations Sheffield United won 33.1%, Aston Villa won 34.5% and there was a 32.4% chance of a draw. Overall, the average simulation score is Sheffield United 1.0 to Aston Villa 1.0. In simulation wins, Sheffield United averages 7.7 shots and 3.0 shots on goal. They average 1.9 goals in simulated victories vs just 0.3 in simulation losses. When Aston Villa wins they average 8.2 shots and 3.4 shots on goal. They average 1.8 goals in simulated victories vs just 0.3 in simulation losses.
Emiliano Martinez makes the right impression on his debut for the home team.
Aston Villa opened their Premier League campaign with a 1-0 home victory over 10-man Sheffield United, with Ezri Konsa netting the winner after Emiliano Martinez denied the visitors with a first-half penalty save.
Villa were playing with a man more than their opponents from the 12th minute when Blades captain John Egan was shown a straight red card having been deemed to have denied Ollie Watkins a goalscoring opportunity.
But it took a great stop from debutant Martinez to prevent them from falling behind in the 36th minute as the summer signing from Arsenal kept out John Lundstram’s spot-kick.
Konsa then headed home in the 63rd minute, having been teed up by fellow defender Tyrone Mings.
While Dean Smith’s Villa celebrate a winning start, the result leaves Chris Wilder’s Sheffield United pointless after two matches.
Martinez was one of two players in the Villa starting line-up making their debut for the club, along with full-back Matty Cash, while there was a league bow for record-signing striker Watkins.
Wilder made three changes from his team’s 2-0 loss at Wolves a week earlier, with forward Oliver Burke among those coming in, for his league debut.
Cash was involved early on as he lofted a delivery to John McGinn, whose effort went off-target.
The visitors were then reduced to 10 men when Egan was red-carded by referee Graham Scott after tussling with Watkins as the striker attempted to latch on to a long ball forward from Mings, the decision standing after a VAR check.
As Villa attempted to take advantage, United – who replaced David McGoldrick with Ethan Ampadu around the half-hour mark – dealt well with the pressure that was applied, with Aaron Ramsdale having little problem collecting a Douglas Luiz header.
The visitors were then handed the a golden chance to take the lead after Chris Basham went down in the box following a tackle from Matt Targett and Scott pointed to the spot.
Once another VAR check had been completed, Lundstram stepped up to take the penalty – and saw his effort from 12 yards pushed away in fine style by Martinez.
Conor Hourihane subsequently sent a shot into the stand in the 41st minute, and Watkins headed too high 10 minutes into the second half.
Eight minutes later Villa made the decisive breakthrough as Targett’s corner was flicked on by Mings and Konsa headed past Ramsdale.
The hosts’ subsequent attempts to add a second saw Jack Grealish send a couple of efforts wide, with Trezeguet and McGinn doing likewise.
But there was no further addition to the scoring and Smith’s team were up and running at the first time of asking.