Tom Love (@TomLove_18) previews Aston Villa v Derby and provides us with his best bets for Monday's Championship play-off final clash by analysing team news, potential line ups, head to head, key stats, facts and more.

Aston Villa v Derby Championship Play-Off Final Betting Preview, Odds & Tips

  • Date: 27/05/19
  • Time: 15:00pm
  • Venue: Wembley Stadium
  • Channel: Sky Sports Football

This used to be dubbed the £90 million game, but the prize for the victor is probably now around double that when taking everything into consideration.

It's obviously a massive game and the sheer magnitude of the match naturally makes teams more risk averse, hats been seen in the past Championship play off finals. Since 2014 we've had a 1-0, 2-0, 1-0, 0-0 and 1-0. 80% seeing under 1.5 goals again highlighting the tight nature of this fixture. That is available to back at 12/5 if you're a punter who likes to follow historic trends.

Aston Villa are probably rightful favourites at 8/13 to lift the trophy, they're ahead of Derby on all the major performance data metrics but they failed to fully convince in the semi-finals against West Brom and only made it through by the skin of their teeth. The nervousness they showcased was a worry and it could be to their detriment here.

Having said that they have a penalty box poacher in Tammy Abraham and he's backed up by a creative midfield with the likes of Anwar El Ghazi, Conor Hourihane, John McGinn and of course local lad Jack Grealish. The knowledge of the potential threat those pose could naturally push Derby back.

Derby themselves came through against Leeds despite losing the shot count 10-3 and 16-10 in both semis. But they've defied the data all season and they've got this far, it does make you think if it is indeed their year.

The Rams were impressive at pressing Leeds' midfield and turning possession over in dangerous areas. Richard Keogh stepped out of defence to retrieve incoming balls into midfield a few times and that lead to some presentable chances such as Jack Marriott's second goal.

Marriott has staked his claim to be the starting striker here and I think he poses much more of a threat than that of Martyn Waghorn or David Nugent as his added pace and movement is more of a nightmare for centre halves. They have other attacking threats too, namely in youngsters Mason Mount and Harry Wilson both of whom have provided plenty of assists and long range goals this term. Being a relatively young team Derby may not feel the pressure and relish their role as underdogs.

Team News

Goalkeeper Orjan Nyland and centre half James Chester are both ruled out for Villa. Manchester United centre half Axel Tuanzebe is likely to play but won't be 100%.

Derby are without Curtis Davies and Craig Forsyth both of whom are injured. Left-Back Scott Malone is suspended after his red card at Elland Road. Craig Bryson and David Nugent are also doubts but Duane Holmes should be fit.

Potential Aston Villa Starting XI: Steer, El Mohamedy, Tuanzebe, Mings, Taylor, Hourihane, McGinn, El Ghazi, Grealish, Adomah, Abraham.

Potential Derby Starting XI: Roos, Bogle, Keogh, Tomori, Cole, Huddlestone, Holmes, Lawrence, Mount, Wilson, Marriott.

Key Stats & Facts

  • Villa have won 6 of their last 9 games against Derby.
  • 14 of the last 15 championship play off finals where the side has scored first, they've gone on to progress.
  • Derby have picked up more cards than most this season (103 yellows, 3 reds).

Betting Odds

  • Aston Villa – 5/4
  • Draw – 23/10
  • Derby – 13/5

The Verdict

I'm happy to swerve the outright markets as the bookies seem to have it spot on. Instead I'm going to plump for the generous odds against quotes on Derby +0 on the asian card handicap. This may seem rather convoluted but it essential a draw no bet market on the cards. Should both sides receive the same amount of cards our stakes are returned, however if Derby pick up more cards than Villa we have ourselves a winner.

As mentioned, Derby are more than partial to a card, we saw that at Elland Road. It was nothing out of the ordinary for them though as they've been a regularly ill-disciplined side all campaign. They average over 2.2 cards per game and given the fact this is a final I'd expect a lot of tactical fouls. They spread the cautions about too, eleven players have picked up at least 6 cards this season, I doubt that can be rivalled anywhere in England. Also throw in the fact that Billa have probably the most fouled player in the league in Jack Grealish I think this bet offers superb value and I'll be having a 3 point play.

Although these fixtures are notoriously tight I wouldn't be surprised if we get a couple of goals and the two chief goals threats are the two opposing strikers Tammy Abraham and Jack Marriott. SkyBet go 9/1 that both players score and given the form they're in I think that looks a touch of value so I'll have a 1 point play there.

Recommended Bets

  • 3pts – Derby 0.0 asian card handicap – 11/10 (bet365)
  • 1pt – Marriott and Abraham both to score – 9/1 (SkyBet)