- Aston Villa v Fulham
- Tuesday April 25, 14:45 ET
- At Villa Park
Aston Villa still has a chance to qualify for European competition and it can boost its qualification hopes by beating Fulham at Villa Park on Tuesday.
Who do Bettors Favor?
Looking at the best-rated online sportsbooks we can see that Villa is rated as the hot favorite by bettors here. The Birmingham team is a short -126 to win this game, with the visiting team as big as +350 with some bookmakers, and if you think the draw is the best bet, you can back it at +295.
|Aston Villa v Fulham|
Villa Still Pushing for Europe
It remains a source of great pride for Villa fans that its club is one of only five from England ever to lift the European Cup, and Europe is once again on the agenda for the club in 2023.
Aston Villa goes into this game in sixth place in the Premier League table after an impressive run of form under Unai Emery. When the former Arsenal and Sevilla boss took over at the start of November, Villa was 13th in the table, but a remarkable run of form since the end of February has seen the Birmingham club rise up the rankings to be just two points outside the European qualification places.
That run has consisted of seven wins and two draws from nine games but sustaining it may be difficult. Villa has to play Manchester United, Liverpool, Brighton and Tottenham – the team currently occupying the final European spot – in its last six fixtures. Dropping points against Brentford at the weekend was therefore a serious blow to the club’s European hopes and earning three points here is vital.
Fulham Finds Form
After an alarming run of five consecutive defeats, Fulham has found late-season form with back-to-back wins over relegation-threatened Everton and Leeds.
That pair of wins is unlikely to be enough to kick start a late European qualification challenge, however, as the team is still eight points short of fifth-placed Tottenham and still has to play Manchester City, Liverpool, and Manchester United before the end of the season.
Still, these two wins have arrested the team’s slide, which was beginning to become concerning, and a top-half finish would be an excellent return for a team that was expected to struggle on its return to the Premier League after winning the Championship last year.
EPL Betting Head-to-Head
The head-to-head record shows that the rivalry between Aston Villa and Fulham goes back to 1905 when the teams met for the first time in an FA Cup tie, which Villa won 5-0.
Since then, however, the rivalry has been balanced. In total, Villa has won 25, with Fulham winning on 26 occasions, and 22 matches between the two teams ending in draws.
At the beginning of the Premier League era, Villa dominated this fixture, losing only once in 13 games between 2001 and 2008, but over the last decade, it has been Fulham’s turn to dominate, with 8 wins from 13 games since 2011. Fulham also won the last league meeting, back in October, when it thrashed Steven Gerrard’s Villa 3-0. Gerrard was sacked as Villa manager 11 days later.
EPL Team News
Villa’s team news remains concerning as Unai Emery has four absences to contend with going into this crucial game on Tuesday.
Philippe Coutinho remains out with a thigh injury and is not expected to return to action until the end of the month, which is the same return date estimated for Leon Bailey. Boubacar Kamara is also still missing, along with Matty Cash, who is suffering with a leg injury.
There is better news on Emiliano Martinez, however. The World Cup winner had to come off at halftime in the weekend draw against Brentford, due to a stomach illness, but he is expected to be available for this game at Villa Park.
Neeskens Kebano made a welcome return to action for Fulham when he came on as a substitute at the end of Saturday’s game and he could be in line for a start here. Daniel James, who was ineligible to play against Leeds, is also likely to return to the team, which means Carlos Vinicius will probably make way. Layvin Kurzawa is still out with a knee problem and Aleksandar Mitrovic is serving the fifth game of his eight-match suspension, following his violent conduct in a game against Manchester United.
EPL Match Betting Pick
One of the keys to Villa’s revival under Unai Emery is the team’s strong home form. In fact, it has won its last four games at Villa Park, by an aggregate score of 9-0. That impressive consistency makes Villa the pick here against an unpredictable Fulham team that ultimately has little to play for.