Team news, stats and prediction ahead of Aston Villa vs Leicester in the Premier League on Sunday (kick-off 2.05pm).
Aston Villa will be without Matty Cash for “three to four weeks” after he came off injured against Brighton.
The right-back has started all but one of Villa’s 22 Premier League matches this season and is expected to be replaced by Ahmed Elmohamady.
Central defender Kortney Hause is also unavailable, while Sunday’s game is likely to come too soon for Wesley who has been out of action for over a year.
Ricardo Pereira and Timothy Castagne are in contention to feature for Leicester despite missing Thursday’s Europa League draw against Slavia Prague.
Pereira is having his workload managed after returning from a long-term knee injury while Castagne has recovered from a hamstring injury.
James Justin underwent successful surgery on Thursday after suffering an ACL injury against Brighton in the FA Cup.
How to follow
Aston Villa vs Leicester is live on Sky Sports Premier League and Sky Sports Main Event from 2pm; kick-off 2.05pm. Sky Sports customers can watch in-game clips in the live match blog on the Sky Sports website and app. Highlights will also be published on the Sky Sports digital platforms and the Sky Sports Football YouTube channel shortly after the final whistle.
Has Aston Villa’s season peaked? Midway through January, I was seriously close to backing them for a top-four finish but their performances have stalled in the last four games. In fact, Dean Smith’s side can count themselves quite fortunate to come out of that run with seven points when assessing their attacking data. In that period, they actually sit bottom of the expected goals scored table in the Premier League, registering a figure of just 2.65. Before that, they had ranked third in the division for total expected goals scored. Only West Brom have had fewer shots than them in their last four games too with just 33 registered.
I have got to be against them this week where that lack of attacking threat comes up against a brick wall of a Leicester defence.
Brendan Rodgers’ side have conceded just one goal in their last five games – Mohamed Salah managed to break through in the win over Liverpool, but that’s been it. It’s no coincidence this fine run has developed with Caglar Soyuncu back to full fitness. The fact that Leicester have coped so smoothly without the Turkey international this season is a testament to the management of Rodgers and the potential shown by Wesley Fofana.
It was only less than six months ago Soyuncu was being talked about as a potential Manchester City target after a formidable season with the Foxes where he helped them ease the burden of losing Harry Maguire. Soyuncu’s influence, added to a tailing off of Villa’s attacking process, makes me like the look of the 5/2 for a Foxes clean sheet.
JONES KNOWS PREDICTS: 0-1
BETTING ANGLE: Leicester clean sheet (5/2 with Sky Bet)
- Aston Villa are looking to complete their first league double over Leicester since the 2003-04 campaign, following their 1-0 win at the King Power Stadium earlier this season.
- Leicester won this exact fixture 4-1 last season – they’ve not won consecutive top-flight visits to Aston Villa since October 1960.
- Aston Villa have recorded 12 clean sheets in their first 22 Premier League games this season – the most shutouts they’ve ever kept in the first 22 games of a league season in their history.
- Leicester City have only lost once in their 12 Premier League away games this season (W8 D3 L1), with only Manchester United (0) registering fewer away defeats this term. Indeed, the Foxes are unbeaten in their last seven on the road in the top-flight (W4 D3).
- Aston Villa have won only one of their last 20 Premier League matches against opponents starting the day of the game in the top three of the table (W1 D4 L15), with that sole victory coming against Liverpool in October 2020 (7-2).
- Aston Villa have won five of their last seven Premier League games on Sundays (D1 L1), as many as they’d won in their previous 43 such matches in the competition (W5 D9 L29).
- Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers has won all five of his away Premier League games against Aston Villa as a manager, his best such 100% record versus an opponent in the competition.
- Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy has scored five goals in his last four Premier League appearances against Aston Villa, netting home and away braces against the Villans last term.
- Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy has been directly involved in 99 Premier League goals since turning 30 years old (81 goals, 18 assists); only five players have registered 100+ goal involvements aged 30+ (Teddy Sheringham, Frank Lampard, Ian Wright, Alan Shearer, and Gianfranco Zola).
- Emiliano Martínez has kept 12 clean sheets in 22 Premier League games for Aston Villa this season, the most by a Villa keeper in a single top-flight season since Brad Friedel in 2009-10 (15 in 38 apps).