Tuesday 14 May: 8pm KO
Live on Sky Sports
The heart of one West Midlands club will be broken on Tuesday evening as the second-leg of this Championship promotion play-off is played. Aston Villa came from behind to take a 2-1 lead into this game, ae they the ones on their way to Wembley and the Premier League?
With just 15 minutes remaining of the first leg of this Championship promotion play-off, West Bromwich Albion were in the driving seat. They led 1-0 after Dwight Gayle had given the away side the lead after just 16 minutes. Villa then stunned their local rivals as a 25-yard strike by substitute Conor Hourihane (who had only been on the pitch for eight minutes) leveled the scores.
Just three minutes later, Aston Villa took the lead via a Tammy Abrahams penalty. That was his 26th goal of the season and he’s 11/10 (2.1) at William Hill to score in this second leg. Villa held on for the win, though West Brom believed they too should have had a penalty after a clumsy challenge by Abrahams on Mason Holgate.
Villa are 1/3 (1.33) at Betfred to be the team that qualifies for the Wembley play-off final against either Leeds United or Derby County (Leeds won the away leg of that tie 1-0 on Saturday). They have only lost two of their last 15 games in the Championship and had won five in a row before the controversial draw at Leeds United. You can get odds of 17/10 (2.7) at William Hill on Villa winning this game.
One bonus that Villa do have is that the away goal that West Brom scored on Saturday won’t count double if the game ends level. There’s no away goals rule in this match so it’s not a case of Albion just needing a 1-0 victory to win the tie that way.
Villa are bidding to reach their second successive play-off final. If they do make it, then Betfred will give you odds of 11/8 (2.37) on Villa going on to win promotion and return to the top-flight for the first time since being relegated in the 2015-16 season.
West Bromwich Albion will be without Dwight Gayle for this second leg. He had a traumatic match on Saturday, scoring Albion’s goal but then getting himself sent off in the dying minutes of the game. His absence could well be crucial as he’s scored seven goals in recent weeks.
Albion are out to 13/2 (7.5) at William Hill to win promotion back to the Premier League at the first attempt. Just how will they attempt to achieve that with Gayle on the sidelines. They virtually played a six-man midfield in the first leg but may have to be more adventurous in this second match, especially if Villa were to get on the scoresheet.
Betfred will give you 12/5 (3.4) on West Brom qualifying for the play-off final. They had big problems at home earlier in the season but since sacking their boss, Albion have won five league games in a row at the Hawthorns. it’s 13/8 (2.61) at William Hill that West Brom can win this game.
West Brom are undefeated in their last six home games against Aston Villa. However, four of those games have ended all-square. That’s a result Villa would love on Tuesday and the odds on this game ending in a draw are 5/2 (3.5) at Betfred.
No injuries have been reported but Dwight Gayle will be suspended after Saturday’s sending off.
Over 2.5 Goals Again?
Two of the three games played between these sides this season have had over 2.5 goals scored in them. The odds of that stat coming up on Tuesday are 8/11 (1.72) at William Hill.
This should be a cracking second leg and a few goals should be scored. Only against Sheffield United have WBA failed to score in a home league game this season. As for Viila, they have scored in each of their last seven away league matches. The odds on a draw with both teams scoring are 10/3 (4.33) at Betfred.