The Championship playoffs are one of the best parts of the entire English football season. That is, as long as your team is not playing in them.
Neutrals love to tune in to watch every dramatic twist and turn and whilst it is incredibly tough for fans of the teams involved, the payoff is worth it when you get to watch your team confirm their place in the playoffs by winning a trophy at Wembley Stadium.
This year’s Championship playoffs promise to be as dramatic and entertaining as ever with four high quality teams competing. The first semi final between Aston Villa and West Brom has the added dimension of being a Midlands derby so you can expect an incredible atmosphere at Villa Park for the first leg on Saturday afternoon.
Can Villa Make the Most of Home Advantage?
The bookmakers all have Aston Villa as the favourites both to win on Saturday and to book their place in the playoff final at Wembley. The Villains certainly got their act together under Dean Smith after a slightly wobbly start to his time at the club and they ended the regular season as the Championship’s in form team.
West Brom picked up six fewer points than Villa from their last eight games which is a worry given the importance of incoming form. However, the Baggies finished four points ahead of their rivals in the Championship table and undoubtedly have one of the strongest squads in the division.
The main issue that West Brom have is they are being guided by a rookie manager. That would have been the case were Darren Moore not sacked for failing to secure automatic promotion but you have to wonder whether the pressure and the job at hand will be a bit much for James Shan.
West Brom have proven they have the attacking quality to make life difficult for Aston Villa, indeed they won 2-0 at Villa Park earlier in the season. However, Villa are a different beast now and should be able to put their noses ahead in the tie with a narrow win in their home leg. Therefore, we recommend you take the betting odds of 11/4 that bet365 are quoting on Aston Villa winning the match by one goal.
Given that West Brom were one of the top scorers in the Championship, their attacking threat cannot be written off. With forwards of the quality of Dwight Gayle and Jay Rodriguez in their ranks, West Brom should be able to score so those looking for a bigger return from their playoff betting should consider the odds of 7/1 that 888Sport are quoting on the Aston Villa 2-1 correct score.
Grealish Key in the Midfield Battle
The upturn in Aston Villa’s form coincided with Jack Grealish finding his full fitness and his best form. He is the lifeblood of the Villa team and has shown multiple times that when he plays well the team plays well.
Grealish will be particularly important on Saturday as the midfield battle is likely to be key in deciding the winner. His energy, passing ability and late runs into the box will all pose problems for West Brom to deal with so it will be interesting to see how Shan and his players plan on stopping the Villa talisman.
Other teams have resorted to trying to kick Grealish out of the game but with such a big prize on the line for his beloved team it’s unlikely that will work so a bet on Grealish scoring anytime at 3/1 with Paddy Power looks worth chancing.
Now you have read our Aston Villa v West Brom Play Off Semi Final Betting Preview 11/05/2019 we do hope it has pointed you in the right direction for some winning bets. Taking on the online bookies is never easy so it is important that you try and give yourself as much of an edge as possible. On way is making sure you get the best betting odds you can but also using the bookies free bets and welcome bonus offers. Our sister site Free Bets Hub UK has all the best free bets and online betting offers so check them out and see if there are some free bets you can claim and win with the bookmakers money!