Aston Villa vs Brighton and Hove AlbionEnglish Premier League, KO: 12:30 Sep 30, 2023, Villa Park
ASTON VILLA and Brighton and Hove Albion were two of the Premier League's form teams towards the end of last season and that momentum has been carried into the new campaign with both sides making impressive starts.
European football was secured for both clubs after last term's heroics and it was always going to be interesting to see how they coped, with Brighton making their continental bow and Villa returning to that stage for the first time in 13 years.
Brighton and Hove Albion recovered from a poor first half to defeat Bournemouth 3-1 while Aston Villa piled on the pain for Chelsea with a 1-0 victory at Stamford Bridge as two more bets came up for me.
Roberto De Zerbi continues to work wonders on the south coast, with the Seagulls ending last weekend sitting third in the table despite selling star players Moises Caicedo, Alexis Mac Allister and Robert Sanchez in the summer.
But the job Unai Emery has been doing in the Midlands has been every bit as impressive, especially as Villa were battling against relegation when he took over the reins from Steven Gerrard a year ago.
A victory in this game would take Emery's side level on points with Brighton and both teams looks capable of battling England's biggest clubs for a Champions League place if they keep up this kind of form.
How the bookies view it
Home advantage gives Aston Villa the edge in the odds, with Emery's side a best 6/4 with BoyleSports. Brighton's best price is 17/10 at BetMGM while the draw pays 3/1 at StarSports.
Recent head to head
Aston Villa have been something of a bogey team for Brighton in recent seasons, winning the last four meetings and losing just once in 16 games against the Seagulls. Both matches ended in 2-1 Villa victories last term, with that triumph in the Midlands securing European football for Emery's side.
Players to watch
Ollie Watkins opened his Premier League account this season with the winner against Chelsea and Emery will be looking for his top striker to push on. The England squad man is 13/8 at William Hill for anytime scorer.
Kaoru Mitoma rode to the rescue fro Brighton and Hove Albion last weekend, coming off the bench to score a double against Bournemouth. The Japanese winger looks a cert to start here and is 13/5 at Paddy Power for another goal.
Anything else catch the eye?
This has the makings of a thriller, with both teams involved in plenty of high-scoring games so far. All of Brighton's league matches have seen four goals or more while that has been the case for four of Villa's six outings. Backing over 3.5 goals in this one pays 11/10 at Unibet while over 1.5 first-half strikes is 6/5 at Coral.
Betting on corners looks another good option, with Aston Villa racking up 11 at Stamford Bridge last weekend. Over nine corners pays 5/6 at Bet365 who price Villa at 5/4 to win most flag kicks.
I love a good stats bet and a couple catch the eye here. Aston Villa winger Leon Bailey is 21/20 at Unibet just to have a shot on target while the same firm price over 9.5 match shots on target at evens.
This English Premier League match between Aston Villa and Brighton and Hove Albion will be played on Sep 30, 2023 and kick off at 12:30. Check below for our tipsters best Aston Villa vs Brighton and Hove Albion prediction. You may also visit our dedicated betting previews section for the most up to date previews.