Unai Emery’s side look to be in the Premier League title race, but can they pick up points in London this Sunday? We look ahead to the game with our Brentford vs Aston Villa prediction and preview.
Brentford vs Aston Villa Stats: The Quick Hits
- Despite Aston Villa’s recent form, the Opta supercomputer predicts a Brentford win, with the hosts triumphing in 40.1% of simulations.
- Brentford have lost just one of their last 10 league games against Aston Villa (W4 D5).
- Villa are the only team not to drop a single point from a winning position in the Premier League so far this season.
Having enjoyed a dream set of results last week after defeating Manchester City and Arsenal, Aston Villa will be hoping to keep pace with that pair and Liverpool in the Premier League title race when they visit Brentford at the Gtech Community Stadium for Sunday’s Premier League meeting.
Unai Emery secured bragging rights against former side Arsenal as John McGinn’s seventh-minute opener proved the difference in Saturday’s 1-0 win at Villa Park, although the hosts were aided by Eddie Nketiah’s late leveller being cancelled out for a Kai Havertz handball in a close-range tussle between the former Chelsea attacker and Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martínez that caused much VAR-fuelled debate post-match.
Last Saturday’s victory followed up another 1-0 home triumph against Pep Guardiola’s Man City after Leon Bailey’s deflected strike downed the defending top-flight champions. Scoring first could be the key again in the capital, given Villa are the only team not to drop a single point from a winning position in the Premier League so far this season, winning all 11 games in which they’ve gone ahead.
The triumph over Arsenal also saw Emery become the fifth Premier League manager to win 15 straight Premier League home games in charge of a club – and achieve the feat for the first time in Villa’s history. The other four (Alex Ferguson, Roberto Mancini, Jürgen Klopp and Guardiola) have all won the title. The Villa manager’s attention must now turn away from home, though, as the Villans trail Arsenal by a point and Liverpool by two heading into Matchday 17.
As for team news, Douglas Luiz and Lucas Digne will be sore misses for Sunday’s kick-off due to the pair accumulating five yellow cards each this season, while Bertrand Traoré, Tyrone Mings and Emiliano Buendía will all be absent from Emery’s lineup due to longer-term injuries. Emery can still rely on both former Brentford striker Ollie Watkins and Scotland international McGinn, though, with the pair two of five players to score a joint league-high three winning goals this term ahead of the weekend’s Premier League fixtures.
An injury-hit Brentford fell to a 1-0 defeat against struggling Sheffield United last time out as a fine James McAtee strike secured a much-needed three points for the Blades at Bramall Lane. Thomas Frank’s side have won just one of their last five games, defeating Luton Town along with losses to Liverpool, Arsenal and Brighton, leaving the Bees 11th in the league table before MD 17.
Frank has been largely hampered by injury issues, with top scorer Bryan Mbeumo, Kristoffer Ajer, Kevin Schade, Aaron Hickey and Rico Henry all out injured. Nathan Collins and Mathias Jensen may make a return for the Villa clash, although Brentford remain without suspended talisman Ivan Toney, who is back in training but not allowed to make a competitive return until 17 January owing to his gambling-related ban.
Toney’s absence has offered Neal Maupay the chance to flourish, though, the French forward scoring two and assisting another in three of his last four Premier League home games after netting past Luton and West Ham, along with an assist against Burnley. However, no side has the 27-year-old striker faced more often without ever scoring in the top flight than Villa – he will be keen to end an eight-game drought against Emery’s side come Sunday’s kick-off at Gtech Community Stadium.
Brentford vs Aston Villa Head-to-Head
Despite impeccable form from Emery’s side, Brentford will fancy their chances given they have lost just one of their last 10 league games against Villa (W4 D5), going down 4-0 at Villa Park last season when Leon Bailey and Ollie Watkins scored along with a brace for Danny Ings, who has since joined West Ham.
Villa triumphed in all three of their away league games against Brentford in the 20th century but haven’t won any of their five visits so far this century (D1 L4). These two sides shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw in this exact league fixture last term as Douglas Luiz cancelled out a strike from Ivan Toney.
However, Villa are unbeaten in all six of their Premier League games in London under Emery (W4 D2), with their last such defeat coming at Fulham (3-0) in October 2022 under Steven Gerrard.
They’ve won their last two in the capital, defeating Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea, but have not succeeded in three consecutive top-flight visits in February 1990.
Brentford have struggled of late, losing four of their last five Premier League games (W1), as many as in their previous 18. They’ve lost their last two, against Sheffield United and Brighton, but have not suffered three straight league defeats since April last season.
Home comforts remain for Frank’s men, though. Brentford have lost just four of 27 Premier League home games since the start of last season (W13 D10), though two of those have come in their last five at the Gtech Community Stadium, where Arsenal and Everton both triumphed in that period.
Nottingham Forest, Liverpool and Newcastle United are the only teams to win in the league this season against Villa, who remain surprise contenders in the top-flight title race.
Astonishingly, none of Emery’s 92 Premier League games have finished 0-0, the most matches any manager has taken charge of without any finishing goalless. Overall, only former Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson ever had a longer run without such a result in the competition, going 114 games between May 1999 and May 2002.
Brentford vs Aston Villa Opta Player Ratings
Before kick-off in this match, here are the top five performing players from both teams in the 2023-24 Premier League according to the Opta Player Ratings:
Ethan Pinnock: 76.0 (out of 100)
Nathan Collins: 70.6
Mathias Jensen: 66.1
Vitaly Janelt: 65.4
Neal Maupay: 62.7
Douglas Luiz: 75.6 (out of 100)
Ollie Watkins: 73.7
John McGinn: 73.4
Leon Bailey: 71.6
Emiliano Martínez: 70.3
These Opta Player Ratings also power our set of brand-new, free-to-play gaming experiences, which you can play on Opta Analyst all season long.
Opta Power Rankings
The Opta Power Rankings are a global team ranking system that assigns an ability score to over 13,000 domestic football teams on a scale between zero and 100, where zero is the worst-ranked team in the world and 100 is the best team in the world.
Ahead of kick-off this weekend, here is the Opta Power Ranking for both sides.
Brentford vs Aston Villa Prediction
Largely owing to their strong head-to-head record, the Opta supercomputer backed Brentford to triumph in 40.1% of 10,000 simulations compared to an Aston Villa win in only 31%.
A draw, which would be a replica of this exact fixture last season, occurred in 28.9% of data-powered simulations, although that would do little to aid Villa’s title charge.
Emery’s side sit third heading into the weekend but have just a 4.5% chance of lifting the title, with Manchester City (48.6%) the favourites in front of Liverpool (31.4%) and Arsenal (15.3%). Villa secured Champions League football in 80.1% of Opta model scenarios, though.
Meanwhile, the Opta data predicts Brentford’s most likely end-of-season standing as 12th (16.3%) in the league table – one place below their position heading into MD 17.