Aston Villa v Leeds preview: Championship clash live on Sky Sports Football
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By Andrew Dickson
Last Updated: 13/04/18 6:58pm
Aston Villa look likely to welcome Birkir Bjarnason back into their side as they look to guarantee a play-off place against Leeds, live on Sky Sports Football.
The Iceland international had been due to play against Cardiff on Tuesday but withdrew from the starting XI during the warm-up due to back spasms.
He trained Thursday, however, and should come back into Steve Bruce's side, although three other players will miss the match.
Alan Hutton is closing in on a comeback after a hamstring problem but the match comes too soon for him while John Terry and Axel Tuanzebe also remain sidelined.
Leeds manager Paul Heckingbottom has a host of injuries to contend with and will continue to rely on a number of players from the club's under-23 squad.
Luke Ayling, Liam Cooper, Laurens De Bock, Adam Forshaw, Eunan O'Kane, Matthew Pennington, Tyler Roberts and Conor Shaughnessy are all expected to miss the match.
Pontus Jansson is also out due to concussion after he was substituted in the second half of Tuesday's 3-1 defeat at Preston.
Villa are looking to close in on second-placed Fulham but remain five points behind the final automatic promotion place with just four games to play.
An extended campaign in the play-offs is more likely and victory will be enough to confirm they will remain in the top six, with Bruce's team currently 10 points clear of seventh-top Middlesbrough.
Villa are unbeaten in their last three home league matches against Leeds (W1 D2) since losing 1-0 in April 2002, with Mark Viduka scoring for Leeds.
Leeds have lost just once in their last 10 league meetings with Villa (W4 D5), a 2-0 defeat in the Premier League in February 2004.
Steve Bruce has never lost a home match against Leeds as a manager (W5 D2), facing a different manager each time (Venables, Gray, Blackwell, Wise, Warnock, Evans and Monk).
Against the current Championship top six, Leeds have collected just three points from 11 games (W0 D3 L8), although one of those points was in the reverse fixture with Aston Villa.
Villa have won 13 home league games this season, their best tally in a season since 1992-93 (also 13) - they haven't won 14 since the 1983-84 campaign.
Paul Heckingbottom has won just three of his last 27 Championship matches (D9 L15), losing six of his first 12 as Leeds boss (W2 D4).
What an end to the game it was at Villa Park on Tuesday night! Aston Villa needed a result against Cardiff and Jack Grealish came up with the goods for them with that stunning volley.
You'd fancy Steve Bruce's side against Leeds, who just want the season to end. Although Villa have slipped a few times lately when you've expected them to go on and win. That being said, I think this is a home win.
David Prutton predicts: 2-0 with Jack Grealish to score first (33/1 with Sky Bet)