Aston Villa are the only team in the Premier League still with a 100 per cent record and they will be looking to continue that winning run at home to Leeds United on Friday night.
This will be the first top-flight meeting between the sides since February 2004, when goals from Juan Pablo Angel and Ronny Johnsen gave Villa a 2-0 victory. A similar result on Friday would take Dean Smith’s side top of the table.
Aston Villa vs Leeds predictions
Villa have been very impressive in the league, beating Sheffield United, Fulham, Liverpool by an unforgettable 7-2 margin, and Leicester City. They are looking to win the opening five matches of a top-flight season for the first time in their 146-year history. Leeds are chasing a more modest but still significant feat – consecutive Premier League away wins for the first time since December 2002.
Aston Villa vs Leeds bettings tips
Odds are correct at the time of publication and are subject to change.
Villa to make history
Villa’s present winning run has taken them second in the table, but no less significant was their previous four-match unbeaten run at the end of last season, when victories over Crystal Palace and Arsenal and draws at Everton and West Ham United kept them up on the last day.
Another relegation battle looks unlikely given their present form, with good recruitment at the heart of their resurgence. Summer arrivals Emiliano Martinez, Matty Cash, Ross Barkley and Ollie Watkins have all impressed, the latter claiming a memorable hat-trick in the thrashing of Liverpool.
Leeds have also enjoyed a solid start to the season following their promotion back to the top flight, even if they looked a little toothless for the first time when they lost 1-0 at home to Wolves last time out. Marcelo Bielsa’s side sit 10th with two wins and a draw from five matches.
The sides didn’t play each other for 12 years between 2004 and 2016, since when the three meetings at Villa Park have produced a draw, a home win and an away win. However Villa’s form persuades us that they can complete a club-record of five wins at the start of a top-flight season.
Tip: Villa to win @ 13/10 with bet365
Barkley to maintain impressive run
It was something of a coup when Villa landed England midfielder Barkley on a season-long loan from Chelsea at the end of the last month and he has certainly lived up to his reputation, scoring in his first two appearances against Liverpool and Leicester, the latter a 90th-minute winner.
He also appears to be easing the burden on captain Jack Grealish, who at times looked to be carrying the team’s attacking threat single-handedly last season. Barkley has certainly benefited from teams focusing on Grealish and he is more than capable of exploiting spaces in the final third.
There may be more space for the 26-year-old to work in than usual on Friday, as Leeds will be without their first-choice defensive midfielder Kalvin Phillips through injury, so don’t be surprised if Barkley is the beneficiary of that as he looks to net for the third successive game.
Tip: Ross Barkley to score at any time @ 7/2 with bet365
Goals aplenty at Villa Park
Villa have netted eight goals in their two home matches so far this season, seven coming against Liverpool, but their defensive record is even more impressive.
In four matches, Dean Smith’s side have kept three clean sheets and conceded just two goals, four fewer than any other side in the division.
Leeds have a knack of scoring, particularly when they take on the big teams. They netted three at Anfield on the opening weekend of the season and had chances to score more than the one goal that earned them a home draw with Manchester City.
The West Yorkshire club’s attack has surprisingly been more potent on the road than at Elland Road, as they have netted in eight of their last nine games on their travels, including in both away games this season.
Leeds also scored three on their last visit to Villa Park in 2018 and it would certainly be no surprise to see them get on the scoresheet once again on Friday, although that still may not be enough for them to take anything from the contest.
Tip: Villa to win and both teams to score @ 10/3 with bet365
Aston Villa vs Leeds odds
Aston Villa are the favourites at 13/10, according to the bookies, while Leeds can be backed at 2/1 and the draw at 12/5.
Aston Villa team news
Villa should have Ross Barkley available despite a knee injury and he will be flanked either side by Jack Grealish and Trézéguet. John McGinn and Douglas Luiz will be the defensive midfielders while Matty Cash and Matt Targett will be at right and left back.
Aston Villa predicted line-up (4-2-3-1): Martinez; Cash, Konsa, Mings, Targett; Luiz, McGinn; Trézéguet, Barkley, Grealish; Watkins.
Leeds United team news
Kalvin Phillips is ruled out through injury and Marcelo Bielsa has confirmed that Pascal Struijk will start in place of the England midfielder. Patrick Bamford will be the lone striker with Helder Costa, Mateusz Klich, Rodrigo and Jack Harrison as the four behind.
Leeds United predicted line-up (4-1-2-1): Meslier; Ayling, Koch, Cooper, Dallas; Struijk; Costa, Klich, Rodrigo, Harrison; Bamford.
Last five results
18 Oct PL Leicester 0 Aston Villa 1 W
4 Oct PL Aston Villa 7 Liverpool 2 W
1 Oct LC Aston Villa 0 Stoke 1 L
28 Sep PL Fulham 0 Aston Villa 3 W
24 Sep LC Bristol City 0 Aston Villa 3 W
19 Oct PL Leeds 0 Wolves 1 L
3 Oct PL Leeds 1 Man City 1 D
27 Sep PL Sheffield United 0 Leeds 1 W
19 Sep PL Leeds 4 Fulham 3 W
16 Sep LC Leeds 1 Hull 1 L*
*Hull won 9-8 on penalties
PL Premier League LC League Cup