Aston Villa vs Norwich predictions and betting tips for the most intriguing match in the Championship’s final round of games – featuring two sides who could both be playing in the Premier League next season.
Norwich City have already secured automatic promotion but will wrap up the league title by avoiding defeat here.
Villa, meanwhile, are the division’s most in-form team and unbeaten in their last dozen Championship fixtures.
The home side are guaranteed a play-off spot and are almost certain to face West Brom – ironically the last team to beat the Villains.
Kick-off time: 12:30pm
Date: Sunday 5th May 2019.
Venue: Villa Park, Birmingham
While most Norwich fans would have undoubtedly bitten your hand off for automatic promotion when the season began in August, there’s no doubt there would be a lot of disappointment in the away end on Sunday if their side missed out on winning the league outright.
Only Sheffield United can stop them now, but a Blades victory and Norwich defeat is the only permutation of results that could deny Daniel Farke’s side.
The Canaries have led the way for much of the campaign and looked the strongest team in the division ever since Leeds United hit their seemingly annual rough patch.
Villa, though, have come into form at just the right time and are currently the bookmakers favourite to seal promotion via the supposed lottery of the Championship play-off system. A draw away at Leeds last week ended a fantastic streak of 10 consecutive victories but at this stage of the season it’s all about keeping the balance between maintaining the form and fitness of your squad.
From the outside, the Birmingham-based club appear to have done that fantastically well and they’ll certainly fancy their chances of upsetting Norwich’s promotion party. The latter have drawn four of their last five, winning only once, but in truth they could have afforded to take their foot off the gas without any serious ramifications likely.
As said, a draw for the visitors would be sufficient and there won’t be many people surprised if this one did end all square given the visitors’ recent penchant for ending matches on even terms.
A victory for Villa here would not alter their position in the Championship table and so they’re guaranteed to face whichever team finishes fourth in the league. That’s not to say they won’t be looking for maximum points here, although the fact of the matter is they are not a requirement.
Dean Smith may look to rest a few players ahead of their impending play-off semi-final although you suspect not so many that it disrupts harmony among those selected most regularly.
On the face of it, Norwich have more reasons to want to win than Villa probably do, although that could also have been said about one or two of the Canaries’ most recent games ultimately ending in draws. I can see a closely contested match between two excellent teams here, with 1-1 looking the most likely outcome. That’s a 13/2 poke with Betfair and not an unreasonable price given some of the factors touched upon.
Aston Villa to win – 15/8
Draw – 5/2
Norwich to win – 6/4