Unlike the first semi-final pair of the promotion play-off in the second one the guests from Birmingham have advantage of 1-0 after first 90 minutes, so now in the 2nd leg at the Villa Park stadium it’s Middlesbrough which will be under bigger pressure. On top of it, Aston Villa was more successful in their head-to-head played in the regular season, given that it drew at home 0-0 and won away 1-0.
It in fact means that the Villans won at the Riverside by 1-0 for the second time in a row, where last week’s victory is far more significant given that thanks to it they put a foot in the door of the great play-off final. Still, every Aston Villa fan is very much aware that nothing is over yet, especially if we have in mind three last home matches with Middlesbrough out of which Aston Villa lost two and drew just one.
True, team led by manager Bruce had won even three and drew just one match played at their Villa Park in the finish of regular season, which is why its fans believe that now against Middlesbrough they can pull a draw in the worst case scenario. Besides, each minimal defeat would take the match into extra time, meaning Aston Villa is definitely under less pressure than its rivals. Let’s add that defender Elmohamady got injured at the Riverside three days ago and Bjarnason could cover his place this time.
Unlike their rivals from Birmingham, Middlesbrough fans are fairly disappointed after the 1st semi-final leg of the promotion play-off, given that their team has failed to materialise the home-field advantage. To make matters worse for team led by manager Pulis, they conceded a cheap goal from a set-piece and now have no other choice than to play maximally aggressively in the 2nd leg and try to win in Birmingham.
They have managed to do so this season, when they won 2-0 in the League Cup, while their league match at the Villa Park ended as goalless draw. It seems unrealistic to expect such outcome now, given they have minus of one goal from the 1st leg with Aston Villa, which is why Pulis stated that Bamford might get advantage in attack instead of Assombalonga. Besides the change in attack there will be one more in defence where young stopper Fry should replace injured Ayala.
The guests from Middlesbrough have nothing to wait for after losing at home by 1-0 and now must play at the Villa Park with full throttle from the first minute with an objective to score. On the other hand, such tactic will open even more space for the Villans for fast counter-attack which is why we have here opted for goals on both sides of the pitch.
Bet Type: Both teams to score
Best Odds: 2.00 at
Stake: 2% bankroll (40 Units)
Date/Time: 15-May-2018 20:45 CET
Event Result: 0:0(0:0)
Profit: -40.00 Units