Friday night’s match in the Championship sees two struggling teams play at Villa Park. Aston Villa sit 17th in the Championship on 18 points.
Their performances this term are a far cry from last season when the team made the promotion playoffs.
Bolton are struggling once more this term. Wanderers are two points behind Aston Villa in 19th place. Neither side are safe from a relegation fight and could be dragged into a battle for survival.
Aston Villa have won once in their last six games. That win came against Swansea and saw the Villains win 1-0. The Midlands club has since lost two straight games. Both loses were by 1-0 scorelines. Aston Villa’s last three matches have all been overseen by manager Dean Smith. He took over for Steve Bruce despite the team losing just twice all season. Smith, a former Brentford manager, has already equaled the club’s losses under Bruce, but in just three matches.
Bolton have not won in their last five matches. Four of those have ended in defeat and each loss saw Bolton unable to score a goal. In Wanderers last five matches, they have scored just one goal. Scoring has been a problem for the team. Bolton have scored the fewest goals in the Championship this term (11). Wanderers have posted a poor goal difference of –9, which is third worst in the league.
Manager Phil Parkinson has seen his team fail to score in six of their last eight matches. Meanwhile, Wanderers have failed to win 10 of their last 11 Championship fixtures. Friday night’s match won’t see many goals scored as their last two meetings have both ended in 1-0 scorelines. The home team has won the last two fixtures, but with neither side being able to find the back of the net, the match looks destined for a draw.
Aston Villa are expected to be without midfielder Birkir Bjarnason due to injury. He is suffering from a groin injury and his loss could affect the Villains in front of goal. Bjarnason has tallied two goals this term. Strikers Tammy Abraham and Albert Adomah have had recent injury issues and could be doubts for Friday’s game. Bolton will be without centre-back Liam Edwards due to suspension.
Neither side will be able to prevent goals nor get enough for a win. This match will be low scoring with it ending in a draw to kick off the Championship weekend.