Lille

Lille vs Aston Villa

, KO: 17:45 Apr 18, 2024, Stade Pierre Mauroy
Aston Villa

IT has been a memorable season for Aston Villa but they will want to crown it with a trophy and face a tricky hurdle in France against Lille as they bid for UEFA Europa Conference League glory.

Unai Emery's men have upset the odds in the Premier League to mount a push for the Champions League places, and Sunday's stunning 2-0 win at title-chasing Arsenal sent them three points clear in fourth place.

I didn't fancy Aston Villa's chances at the Emirates as they headed into the match off the back of a draining 90 minutes against Lille on Thursday night in the first leg of their Conference League quarter-final.

But Emery got his tactics spot on, and the Midlands club were well worth a victory that gave them a massive injection of confidence heading down the home straight.

Aston Villa have been favourites for Europe's third-tier tournament pretty much since they entered the fray with an 8-0 aggregate demolition of Hibernian in the play-off round.

Lille are dangerous opponents though and Bafode Diakite's late strike at Villa Park in their 2-1 defeat brought up two bets for me and left this tie hanging in the balance.

Paulo Fonseca's men went into that game off the back of a seven-game run without defeat and will be fresh for the return after having the weekend off.

Emery's side are in the middle of a tough run of fixtures, which might just prove decisive in this tie. It would be foolish to write off the in-form Ligue 1 side.

How the bookies view it

Aston Villa are heavy favourites to qualify at a best 4/11 with SpreadEx but the odds increase to 45/23 at VBet if you back them for a win on the night. Lille are a tempting 7/5 to win at 90 minutes, and 888Sport price them at 12/5 to qualify. A draw on the night would see Emery's side through and that pays 13/5 at Betfred.

Head to head

Aston Villa's victory in the first leg levelled up the head-to-head with one win apiece and one stalemate. The last meeting was in the Intertoto Cup back in 2002, with Lille winning 2-0 at Villa Park after a 1-1 draw in France.

Players to watch

Jonathan David was relatively quiet in the first leg but Lille's top scorer could come alive back at home. The Canadian is on 20 for the season and Betfred price him at 13/8 for anytime scorer. If you want to play a bit safer, SkyBet are offering evens on him either scoring or providing an assist.

Leon Bailey made a big impact off the bench for Aston Villa with the opener at Arsenal and that should earn him a start here. The Jamaican winger will be a threat on the counter and is 7/2 at Paddy Power for a goal. He's also a tempting 6/4 at SkyBet to either score or assist.

Anything else catch the eye?

Although Aston Villa defended superbly at the Emirates, that clean sheet was one of just two in their last six games. Combining BTTS with over 2.5 goals paid off for me in the first leg, and that bet looks good again here at 11/10 with Paddy Power.

With just one goal separating the sides heading into the second leg, Lille don't need to come out all guns blazing, so it could be a bit cagey at first. That makes the half-time draw a decent option at 6/5 with Bet365.

Lille midfielder Nabil Bentaleb has collected nine yellow cards this season, and betting on the Algerian going in the book again pays a tempting 9/2 at Bet365.

This match between Lille and Aston Villa will be played on Apr 18, 2024 and kick off at 17:45. Check below for our tipsters best Lille vs Aston Villa prediction. You may also visit our dedicated betting previews section for the most up to date previews.

Lille vs Aston Villa Betting Tips & Predictions
BTTS and over 2.5 goals
11/10
PaddyPower
Half-time draw
6/5
Bet365
Nabil Bentaleb to be carded
9/2
Bet365
Further Reading
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