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Wednesday, 17 October, 2018

Wolves might have to settle for a point at Aston Villa

Leaders are solid on the road

Wolves forward Diogo Jota
1 of 1

Sky Bet Championship
Sky Sports Football & Main Event, 5.30pm Saturday

Long-term leaders Wolves gave the chasing pack in the Sky Bet Championship some encouragement in February by going three games without a victory. 

But they responded with a superb 3-0 victory at Leeds on Wednesday and can cap a satisfactory week by claiming another point at Aston Villa.

Wolves headed to Leeds under a little pressure for perhaps the first time this season as the gap to the second-placed team, which was 12 points this time last month, had been cut to three.

But they responded with a convincing victory which discouraged the chasers and gave them a timely confidence lift.

Playing two tough games in four days is a challenge for Nuno Espirito Santo's side but they are boosted by the return from suspension of star midfielder Ruben Neves.

A lot of Wolves's play goes through Neves, who has been one of the best players in the division. His return should give them an element of control in a fixture they will be determined not to lose.

Villa's attitude will be intriguing. Earlier in the week Steve Bruce had hinted at trying to give Wolves a run for their money.

However, second place is a far more realistic target and in the context of the battle for automatic promotion a draw against the leaders might be seen as a decent return.

Villa have collected 25 points from a possible 30 this year - seven more than Wolves - and look more of an attacking threat since the January loan arrival of Bournemouth striker Lewis Grabban, who has netted three goals in five appearances.

However, Villa have lost four of their five matches against the top five, including a 2-0 defeat at Molineux in October, and might be content to take a point, setting them up nicely for a sequence of four successive games against teams in the bottom nine.

Recommendation
Draw

1pt 23-10 Betfair

Bet on this game at Soccerbase.com

Sky Bet Championship standings

Team news
Aston Villa
Glenn Whelan (calf) has joined Andre Green, Alan Hutton, Axel Tuanzebe (all hamstring), Jonathan Kodjia (ankle) and Jed Steer (shoulder) on the sidelines.

Wolves
Ruben Neves is available after completing a two-match ban.

Key stat
Wolves have lost only one of their last 11 away league games.


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Wolves have lost only one of their last 11 away league games
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