Aston Villa vs Derby County betting tips: Championship play-off final preview & predictions

Aston Villa vs Derby County prediction: Aston Villa 2-1 Derby

Arguably, the most important game in football.

The riches on offer to the winner are only exceeded by the heartbreak that’ll be suffered by the loser.

Both were involved in thrilling play-off semi-finals but only one will make it back into the big time.

Will it be Derby County or Aston Villa who’s celebrating at Wembley?

LONDON, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 25: A general view of Wembley Stadium during the Carabao Cup Final between Arsenal and Manchester City at Wembley Stadium on February 25, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Highlights of Aston Villa 2-2 West Bromwich Albion

Highlights of Derby County 4-3 Leeds United

Aston Villa vs Derby County: Who will win?

Aston Villa are the favourites at 6/5 to win this match in normal time.

Derby are 5/2 to secure promotion in 90 minutes.

A draw, which would force extra time, is 9/4.

Over 2.5 goals is evens.

Both teams to score is 8/11.

Villa to gain promotion is 8/13; Derby are 5/4.

Tammy Abraham

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 23: Tammy Abraham of Aston Villa encourages the supporters during the Sky Bet Championship match between Aston Villa and Leeds United at Villa Park on December 23, 2018 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

Tammy Abraham has scored 26 goals this season for Aston Villa. He is 7/2 to score first and 6/5 to add to his outstanding tally.

Jack Grealish will play for his boyhood club at the National Stadium for the third time. He’s 9/1 to score first and 17/5 to score anytime.

Martyn Waghorn could be fit to come back into the Derby attack. He’s 11/2 to score first and 2/1 to score anytime.

Harry Wilson scored his 18th goal of the season in the win at Elland Road. He’s 15/2 to score first and 11/4 to score first.

Aston Villa vs Derby County: Match preview

Aston Villa’s play-off semi-final against neighbours West Bromwich Albion was nervy to say the least.

They fell behind early on at Villa Park when Dwight Gayle pounced on a mistake by the usually dependable Glenn Whelan.

It looked as though the match was slipping away from the home side before the complexion of the tie changed in an instant.

Conor Hourihane fired a left-footed drive into the top corner before Tammy Abraham cooly slotted home from the spot.

2-1 it finished.

Despite heading across town with a lead, Villa looked apprehensive in the second leg at The Hawthorns.

They fell behind early on and there was no further scoring so the match went to penalties.

Jed Steer became the hero saving West Brom’s first two spot-kicks.

Albert Adomah had the chance to win it but he chipped his effort over the bar.

No matter.

Tammy Abraham, Villa’s fifth penalty taker, slotted it down the middle to send his side to Wembley.

They looked as though the pressure was getting to them in that huge game but will Dean Smith’s side rise to the occasion?

DERBY, ENGLAND – AUGUST 21: Mason Mount of Derby County looks on during the Sky Bet Championship match between Derby County and Ipswich Town at Pride Park Stadium on August 21, 2018 in Derby, England. (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)

Will Frank Lampard lead Derby back into the big time?

As for Derby, their semi-final will live long in the memory.

They lost the first leg 1-0 at home to Leeds United and looked on the brink of play-off heartbreak once again.

None of the previous 17 sides to lose at home in the first leg of a second tier play-off semi-final had progressed to the final.

The task got even tougher when they fell behind after 24 minutes.

Then, on the stroke of half time, less than 30 seconds after coming on, Jack Marriott latched onto a defensive error to give Derby hope.

Just seconds into the second half, Mason Mount levelled up the tie before Harry Wilson put them in front from the spot.

Stuart Dallas scored for Leeds just four minutes later to level up the tie at 3-3 on aggregate.

However, super sub Marriott scored with just five minutes remaining to send the Rams to Wembley.

An historic occasion.

This is Derby’s eighth venture into the second tier play-offs; no side have taken part in more.

However, they’ve only won promotion once in those previous seven attempts at this level and that was in 2007.

Will this be Derby County’s year?

Aston Villa team news vs Derby County

Jack Grealish

11th May 2019, Villa Park, Birmingham, England; EFL Championship football, playoff semi final 1st leg, Aston Villa versus West Bromwich Albion; Jack Grealish of Aston Villa (Photo by Shaun Brooks/Action Plus via Getty Images)

Ten of Aston Villa’s starting 11 realistically picks itself.

Dean Smith has a squad full of experience and will continue to pick those that he trusts.

Jed Steer was the hero in the semi-final shootout and will keep his place ahead of Croatia’s number one Lovre Kalinić.

In defence, Tyrone Mings’ importance to Villa cannot be underestimated.

Aston Villa concede a goal every 118 minutes with him on the pitch this season, compared to a goal every 57 minutes without him.

In midfield, Conor Hourihane is likely to keep his place ahead of his compatriot Glenn Whelan.

John McGinn and Jack Grealish will make up the midfield.

Anwar El Ghazi will start on the left but the starting position on the right is up for grabs.

Albert Adomah is expected to get the nod but Dean Smith could easily go with Jonathan Kodjia or Andre Green.

There is no doubt who will be up front.

Tammy Abraham has scored 25 goals this season and he’ll be looking to add to that in, what could be, his final game for Villa.

Can the Chelsea loanee fire Aston Vill back into the big time.

Derby County team news vs Aston Villa

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 25: Frank Lampard, Manager of Derby County celebrates following his sides victory in the Carabao Cup Third Round match between Manchester United and Derby County at Old Trafford on September 25, 2018 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

As for Derby, Frank Lampard is also unlikely to make too many changes.

Kelle Roos has kept nine clean sheets in 23 appearances since taking over as number one from Scott Carson.

In defence, teenager Jayden Bogle will continue at right-back with Richard Keogh and Fikayo Tomori continuing at centre-back.

There will have to be a change in the defence though.

Scott Malone is suspended after he was sent off in the 91st minute at Elland Road.

So, 38 year old Ashley Cole will come in.

He’s played just 608 minutes since joining The Rams in January from LA Galaxy.

However Cole, who’s won 16 trophies in his career, is the ideal man for the big occasion due to his experience.

In midfield, Bradley Johnson and Duane Holmes will be tasked with stopping Villa’s attacking talents and providing a base for the front four.

Mason Mount will be looking to control the biggest game of his short career.

Derby have won all eight games in which he has scored this season.

Wales internationals Tom Lawrence and Harry Wilson could also win this game as they are of Premier League quality.

Up front, after coming off the bench to score twice at Leeds, surely Jack Marriott will get the nod up front.

Nine of his 12 goals this season have come away from Pride Park.

Top scoring striker Martyn Waghorn should be back from the injury he sustained on the final day but will only be on the bench.

He’ll join Florian Jozefzoon and Mason Bennett in reserve.

Will Derby end their 11 year wait for Premier League football?

Predicted Aston Villa line-up vs Derby County

Predicted Aston Villa line-up vs Derby County

Predicted Aston Villa line-up vs Derby County.

Predicted Derby County line-up vs Aston Villa

Predicted Derby County line-up vs Aston Villa

Predicted Derby County line-up vs Aston Villa.

The latest tweets from Aston Villa pre Derby County

The latest tweets from Derby County pre Aston Villa

All odds mentioned in this article are correct at the time of publishing and are subject to change.

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Back Aston Villa at 11/1 or Derby County at 20/1 in the play-off final!