Aston Villa vs Legia WarsawUEFA Europa League Conference, KO: 20:00 Nov 30, 2023, Villa Park
ASTON VILLA fans are dreaming of a shock Premier League title push after a stunning start to the season but attention turns back to the UEFA Europa Conference League as they bid to secure a place in the knockout stages by beating Legia Warsaw.
Unai Emery's side impressed again at the weekend as a 2-1 victory away to Tottenham lifted them into the top four and just two points off the summit. That has continued a remarkable resurgence under the canny Spanish coach, who took over with Villa stuck in a relegation scrap just 13 months ago.
Emery has four European trophies on his glittering CV and plenty of people fancy him to get his hands on another, with Aston Villa justifying their status as one of the Conference League favourites by battering Hibs 8-0 on aggregate in the play-offs.
But they slumped to a shock 3-2 loss in Warsaw in their first group game, with two bets landing for me in a thrilling tie. Villa then needed a stoppage-time John McGinn goal to see off Bosnian side Zrinjski Mostar but they found their groove to beat AZ Alkmaar home and away.
With Aston Villa and Legia Warsaw both sitting on nine points, the winner of his match will secure a spot in the knockout stages and it should be another entertaining game.
Having lost just one of their first 16 games this season, the Poles then went through an alarming slump that saw them lose five of their next six in all competitions.
Legia Warsaw have steadied the ship since then with a five-game unbeaten run so they head to England in decent form for what looks like a daunting fixture.
How the bookies view it
With Aston Villa in red-hot form it's no surprise to see them as odds-on favourites here. Their best price is just 6/19 at VBet while Legia Warsaw are 11/1 at Coral and the draw pays 5/1 with Paddy Power.
Head to head
That game earlier in the group was the first meeting of these sides. Aston Villa had only faced Polish opposition once before that, beating Gornik Zabrze 3-1 on aggregate in the 1977-78 UEFA Cup.
Players to watch
This match is pretty much a group decider so I'm expecting Emery to name a strong side. Skipper John McGinn has been in good scoring form, with four goals in his last eight outings for club and country. The Scotland midfielder is 7/2 at Paddy Power for anytime scorer but might be better value for an assist when that market is priced up.
Veteran Portuguese striker Joseu heads to Villa Park with his tail up after netting in three of his last four games for Legia Warsaw. The 33-year-old is 9/1 at Bet365 for anytime scorer and that looks a bit overpriced.
Anything else catch the eye?
Going for goals usually pays off with Aston Villa as BTTS has landed in 12 of their games this season while we've seen over 2.5 strikes a whopping 16 times. It's no surprise to see over 2.5 goals at just 10/17 with VBet for this one but BTTS is better value at evens with William Hill. Over 1.5 first-half goals is also tempting at 5/4 with most firms as that bet has landed in Aston Villa's last two games.
Slips Tips when for tackles and fouls in Villa's weekend game and it could be another feisty match with so much at stake. I've yet to see any prices for total cards but Bet365 do have a market on individual players going in the book. Legia Warsaw's Yuri Ribeiro was booked in the reverse fixture and has five yellows to his name this season. That suggest he could be worth a punt here at 9/4 to be carded.
This UEFA Europa League Conference match between Aston Villa and Legia Warsaw will be played on Nov 30, 2023 and kick off at 20:00. Check below for our tipsters best Aston Villa vs Legia Warsaw prediction. You may also visit our dedicated betting previews section for the most up to date previews.