Burnley vs Aston Villa Odds, Picks, Predictions | Premier League Preview
Ross Parker/Getty. Pictured: John McGinn.
Burnley vs Aston Villa Odds
|Aston Villa Odds||+115|
|Over / Under|
-110 / -110
Burnley look to rebound from their opening match loss when they host Aston Villa at Turf Moor.
The Clarets were off last weekend as their match with Luton Town was postponed due to construction still ongoing at Kenilworth Road. They were beaten pretty badly by Manchester City in the opener, but Vincent Kompany's Burnley were by far the best team in the Championship a season ago. The question is, can their style of play that made them so dominant translate to the Premier League? Aston Villa will be a good test to find the answer.
Aston Villa rebounded from their 5-1 dismantling at St. James Park in match week 1 as they routed Everton 4-0 at Villa Park. Unai Emery's squad was one of the hottest teams in the Premier League over the second half of the season, but they did drastically over-perform their underlying metrics. They made some good signings in this transfer window to help them compete for the top six, but they need three points in matches like this if they are going to do just that.
Here is my Burnley vs Aston Villa preview.
Burnley were one of the best Championship teams of the last decade and Vincent Kompany has completely changed how Burnley play. They are now longer playing the classic low block counterattacking style that Sean Dyche employed.
Kompany has basically created the Man City of the Championship. High amounts of possession, a lot of short passes and counter-pressing to win the ball back. Burnley desired game control and took a lot of principles Pep has used at Barcelona to drop a center midfielder into the back line, sending the wingbacks high up the pitch to create a build up structure that is elite at breaking down low blocks.
There are two problems. First, Burnley averaged 64.6% possession in the Championship. They’ll be lucky to average 45% in the Premier League. Are they able to play a primarily transitional based system? We saw this last season with Fulham after they dominated the ball and cruised to promotion like Burnley did. Fulham ended up being one of the worst defensive teams in the Premier League and over-performed like crazy to finish in 10th place. It was very evident in their opening match against City that Burnley aren't yet ready to play a majority of the match without the ball.
Secondly, Burnley drastically over-performed in the Championship offensively. They scored 87 goals off of 66.2 expected. So, how is that going to translate to the Premier League? Well, since 2015 when xG widely started being tracked, teams coming up to the Premier League have seen a 32% decrease in their xG per 90 minutes. Burnley averaged 1.44 xG per 90 minutes in the Championship, which means they are likely going to average around 1 xG per 90 minutes.
Here is the thing with Aston Villa and why they are not going to reach the level required for the top six. They're limited when they're in possession. Unai Emery only wants to play one way. He wants his team to build out of the back. That is great when you are playing against the bottom half of the table or teams who are going to play very passively, but against high intensity pressing teams they have struggled. That was very evident in the first match against Newcastle, as the Magpies forced a whopping 12 high turnovers. Burnley are an intense pressing team, so they will once again be tested in their build up play.
Aston Villa are already dealing with a lot of injuries to key players as well. Tyrone Mings is going to be out for an extended period of time, which means Aston Villa lose their best penalty box defender and best defender dealing with crosses. Pau Torres will slot in at the left center back position and he's elite in build up play, but he is a below-average defender. Jacob Ramsey, Alex Moreno and Emiliano Buendia are all out as well, which leaves Villa thin at a lot of key positions.
Then we come to the fact that even though Aston Villa raced up the table under Unai Emery, they drastically over-performed from November 1st on. They had a +14 goal differential, but their xG differential was only +0.40.
Burnley vs Aston Villa
Pick & Prediction
I am selling on Burnley's offense right.. Last season in the Championship not only did they drastically over-perform their underlying metrics, but Nathan Tella was basically their entire offense, scoring 17 goals. He has made a move to Southampton, leaving a hole in the front line. They did sign Zeki Amdouni, who scored 12 goals in the Swiss League for Basel, but expecting him to just replace Tella is a bit of stretch.
Aston Villa have over-performed under Emery, scoring 45 goals off of 39.2 xG and they are going to have issues trying to build out against Burnley's man-to-man high press. So, I think this match is going to be a bit of a stalemate.
I have BTTS – no projected at -102, so I like the value on the current price of +120.