Aston Villa vs Bristol City preview
Last Updated: 12/04/19 10:26am
Aston Villa are without the suspended Tyrone Mings for the visit of Bristol City.
The defender was sent off in Wednesday's 2-1 win over Rotherham and serves a one-game ban.
The on-loan Bournemouth man's absence adds to Villa's defensive headache with Tommy Elphick (foot) and Kortney Hause (hip) both struggling. James Chester has also been battling a swollen knee but, like Elphick, has returned to training.
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Bristol City could be unchanged when they head to Villa Park. Callum O'Dowda (knee) is nearing a return to fitness and Korey Smith may be available after missing the 3-2 win over West Brom on Tuesday.
The midfielder has only just returned from a serious knee injury and was taken off in the closing stages of the win at Middlesbrough as a precaution. Goalkeeper Frank Fielding is expected to be out for the rest of the season with the hand injury he suffered in February.
Aston Villa have won six of their last seven home league meetings with Bristol City, losing the other 0-2 in August 1979.
Bristol City are winless in four league meetings with Aston Villa (W0 D2 L2) since winning 3-1 in August 2016.
Aston Villa have won their last seven league games - they last recorded eight consecutive victories in April 1975.
Former Aston Villa forward Andreas Weimann has scored 10 league goals in 38 games for Bristol City this season - he had scored just 15 times in 124 previous Championship appearances (incl. play-offs) across five seasons before this campaign.
Since losing 2-8 against Bristol City as Walsall manager in May 2015, Dean Smith is unbeaten in five league meetings against the Robins (W3 D2 L0).
Bristol City manager Lee Johnson has only managed more Championship matches without winning against Alex Neil (six) than he has against Dean Smith (five).
Now this is a big game in a battle to finish in the play-off spots. Aston Villa and Bristol City are fifth and sixth respectively and there is a little bit of a gap between them and the chasing pack, but one or both may give up ground here.
Both are in excellent form. Villa have won seven in a row and Bristol City look good again, so it is a tough game to call. But I have to back the home team.
David Prutton predicts: 2-1 (15/2 with Sky Bet)