Aston Villa vs Legia Warsaw recommended bets
Aston Villa vs Legia Warsaw match preview
Aston Villa have certainly not had it all their own way in the UEFA Europa Conference League so far, although victory here would see them reach the knockout phase, possibly as group winners, with a match to spare.
Back on matchday one, the Claret and Blue Army were on the wrong end of a shock 3-2 defeat at Stadion Wojska Polskiego, with Ernest Muçi scoring twice in a momentous victory for Legia.
Since then though, Villa have won three out of three in this competition, smashing AZ Alkmaar 4-1 in the Netherlands, before a comeback 2-1 victory over the Cheeseheads earlier this month.
Diego Carlos and Ollie Watkins on target in that one.
Meanwhile, their European commitments do not seem to be derailing Unai Emery’s team in the Premier League, with the Villans moving up to fourth following Sunday’s 2-1 victory at Tottenham.
They’ve now won seven of their last nine league outings, although upcoming games against Manchester City and Arsenal will certainly test their credentials.
Legia Warsaw meantime sit top of this group, also on nine points, courtesy of the superior head-to-head gained by beating Villa in the Polish capital back in September.
Kosta Runjaić's team were then defeated in Alkmaar, but have since won back-to-back outings against HŠK Zrinjski Mostar, 2-1 in Bosnia and then 2-0 at home.
The Militarians have not finished in the top two of a UEFA group since 2014, but jut a point from either of their last two matches would secure their place in the knockout phase.
Domestically, Legia have only won one of their last seven Ekstraklasa matches, losing four on the spin in October prior to recent draws with Lech Poznań and Warta Poznań, so are all the way down in sixth.
They have also never won in England in three attempts, most-recently beaten 3-1 in Leicester two seasons ago.
Given that Aston Villa have won each of their last 16 Premier League or Europa Conference League home matches, dating back to mid-February, we foresee the hosts picking up three points.
A victory by two-clear goals is needed for Villa to wrap up top spot due to head-to-head being the tiebreaker.
Aston Villa team news
With huge games against the Premier League’s top two to come in the next nine days, Unai Emery may be tempted to rotate his team here, although he’s not done a lot of that so far.
Boubacar Kamara is suspended for Sunday’s trip to Bournemouth, so it would make sense to start him here.
In goal, Emi Martínez has started all four group games so far, with Robin Olsen’s only European appearances coming in the play-off round win over Hibs.
Youri Tielemans, Jacob Ramsey, Leon Bailey and Jhon Durán all made an impact off the bench on Sunday, so will any of them come into the XI?
Leading the line, Ollie Watkins has scored 12 times already this season, including five in this competition, so will he add to that tally?
Legia Warsaw team news
Veteran striker Tomáš Pekhart is Legia’s top-scorer this season with ten, including netting against Ordabasy, Austria Wien and Midtjylland in qualifiers, although he’s yet to find the target in the group phase.
Ernest Muçi meantime scored twice when Villa visited Warsaw, taking his tally to eight for the campaign at the weekend, so also watch out for him.
Yuri Ribeiro and Patryk Kun would both miss the matchday six clash with AZ, which could be pivotal, if booked in Birmingham.