Aston Villa v Brentford preview
Last Updated: 08/09/17 3:31pm
Aston Villa are close to having a fully-fit squad for their Sky Bet Championship match against Brentford.
Jack Grealish is out long-term with a kidney injury, but Jonathan Kodjia is nearing his comeback from an ankle injury. Mile Jedinak has been cleared to take his place in the starting XI after recovering from illness. Villa have received a defensive boost with the news that Alan Hutton (leg knock) and Chris Samba (knee) are available.
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Sergi Canos is set to make his first Brentford appearance of the season. The midfielder has been sidelined by an ankle injury but got 66 minutes under his belt for the club's under-23s in midweek to prove his fitness.
He will return to a depleted squad after fellow Spaniard Jota and defenders Harlee Dean and Maxime Colin all joined Birmingham before the transfer deadline. John Egan and Andreas Bjelland are likely to step into the back four in place of Dean and Colin.
Aston Villa have never lost at home to Brentford in any competition in their entire history (W2 D3).
The Bees were unbeaten in both league games against the Villans last season (W1 D1) after losing five of six previous meetings between 1935 and 1947 (D1).
Villa have lost just one of their last 10 home games in the Championship (W7 D2), and are unbeaten at Villa Park so far in 2017/18 (W1 D1).
Brentford have failed to keep a clean sheet in any of their last 14 away games in the Championship.
Ollie Watkins has created more chances from open play than any other player in the Championship in 2017/18 (12).
Since the start of last season, Conor Hourihane has been involved in more league goals than any other Championship midfielder (25 - 11 goals, 14 assists).
It's looking like it might be a tough season for Brentford, especially after losing Jota on Deadline Day. Many tipped Dean Smith's side as dark horses but they'll need to turn their form around quickly.
Aston Villa's away struggles continued against Bristol City last time out, but they should be too strong at Villa Park and this feels like a home win to me.
Prutton predicts: 2-1 (15/2 with Sky Bet)