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With two games in hand, Aston Villa are still theoretically in the race for the top four. Many expected Dean Smith’s side to fall away as the season progressed, but Villa have overcome some disappointing results to ensure that they keep their momentum going.
Villa have already taken more points than they did in their entire Premier League campaign last season in 16 fewer games and Dean Smith deserves enormous credit for how he has turned the club’s fortunes around.
Smith’s side have also done well to recover from a disappointing defeat against Burnley last month by taking seven points from their last four games to stay in the hunt for the European places. They have kept three clean sheets in their last four games and are currently enjoying a rare eight-day break, so should be sharp coming into this one.
Meanwhile, Leicester recorded an impressive win against Liverpool last Saturday, but rode their luck for large parts of the game and were incredibly fortunate to still be in the game by the time Liverpool imploded.
There are some signs that The Foxes haven’t been as fluid as they were in earlier parts of the season, emphasised by their stale performance in the Czech Republic on Thursday night. Brendan Rodgers fielded a full-strength side for that Europa League clash and Leicester could be the victims of fatigue on Sunday afternoon.
Sunday 14:05 – Aston Villa v Leicester
Sky Sports Main Event / Sky Sports Premier League
Ollie Watkins has rediscovered his form following a nine-game goal drought in the league to score four in his last six games. Villa’s record signing has now reached double digits in the league following his winner against Arsenal earlier in February and can only be described as a successful signing.
Watkins has scored in each of Villa’s last three home games, while seven of his lea10gue goals this season have come at Villa Park. Leicester have been less defensively solid since their win over Chelsea in January though, and may struggle to contain the in-form striker.
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There is a very good chance that Leicester will draw a blank on Sunday if Villa do manage to secure an important three points. Dean Smith’s outfit have kept clean sheets in 10 of their 11 league wins this season and don’t seem to win games if they concede.
They have kept a total of 12 clean sheets this term – the second highest in the division – and have recorded three shut-outs in their last four games.
Leicester looked lacklustre going forward against Slavia Prague on Thursday night, and also drew a blank against Wolves in their last away league fixture. They also struggled to break Villa down when the sides met at the King Power Stadium last October and could struggle yet again.
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