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Aston Villa v Leeds preview: Whites seeking to end winless run on Friday

The first Premier League match of the weekend takes place on Friday evening as Jesse Marsch's Leeds travel south to Aston Villa, who are coming into the game on the back of a shock FA Cup defeat.

Unai Emery's men went down 2-1 at home to League Two high-flyers Stevenage after letting two late goals past them, and now their task is to try and reset and get it out of their system.

Other than that result, the Emery era has gone well so far, with the Spaniard settling in nicely following the departure of Steven Gerrard.

Leeds head to the second city on the back of four Premier League games without victory while on Sunday, a late goal from youngster Sonny Perkins rescued an FA Cup replay at Championship strugglers Cardiff.

The Yorkshire side are only two points above the drop zone and are hoping to avoid a repeat of last season where they were sent to a final-day decider. 

Leeds can be backed at 1/6 to stay up and 4/1 to be relegated.

WhatAston Villa v Leeds
WhereVilla Park, Birmingham
When20.00, Friday 13th January
How to watchSky Sports
OddsAston Villa 10/11, Draw 13/5, Leeds 3/1

Villa hope to put Stevenage debacle behind them

Sunday's cup tie with the League Two side looked to be going swimmingly in the first half as forgotten man Morgan Sanson grabbed an opener with just over half an hour on the clock.

Emery made changes to his Villa team for Sunday's game but it still looked like a team more than strong enough to down opponents three leagues below them.

Leander Dendoncker's late red card was the catalyst for Stevenage to mount a comeback and they did so through Jamie Reid's penalty and Dean Campbell's low strike which came from Villa's lack of concentration at a short corner.

It spoiled what has otherwise been a very good start to life in the Villa hot seat for Emery, with ten points being picked up from five Premier League games.

They dismantled Manchester United in his first game in charge and have looked a lot more creative since the change in the dugout was made.

They may fancy their chances against a Leeds side who have struggled to defend all season and have not won in their last four top-flight games. 

Villa are priced at 11/4 in the Over 2.5 Total Team Goals market against Leeds.

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Porous Whites relying on their attack

Leeds are in need of wins having picked up only four victories in the Premier League so far this season, and none since the resumption of the campaign following the World Cup break.

Sunday's draw at Cardiff highlighted their defensive frailties with two cheap goals conceded, albeit with a caveat of a weakened team.

They did show some good resilience to get back level but ultimately they are struggling to stop shipping goals.

Leeds have let seven go past them in the four PL matches since the World Cup while prior to that, they were involved in a couple of 4-3 encounters - a win against Bournemouth and a loss to Tottenham.

Going forward though they are looking more dangerous. The emergence of youngsters Crysencio Summerville and Wilfried Gnonto has been a big positive, while Spanish international Rodrigo has 10 goals in 17 games this season, and is 2/1 in the Anytime Goalscorer market versus Villa.

The Whites can therefore be relied upon to produce entertaining games and they may need to bank upon their attacking talent to get the better of Villa in this one.

Leeds do have a pretty good recent record at Villa Park, not losing in any of the last three visits and they have scored three times in each of those games.

Moreno hoping for Villa debut

In terms of team news, Villa completed the signing of Real Betis left-back Alex Moreno on Wednesday afternoon and he will be pushing for a full debut.

Emery looks likely to utilise his knowledge of Spanish football in the current window and the 29-year-old will add extra experience to his backline.

Otherwise, he is expected to return to a similar team that played Wolves last time in the Premier League, as Danny Ings' goal rescued a point.

Dendoncker will be suspended while Matty Cash and Ludwig Augustinsson both had to be withdrawn during the Stevenage game and are doubts as a result. Midfielder John McGinn will still be absent because of a hamstring problem.

For Leeds, they are also expected to make big changes from their FA Cup game with the likes of Tyler Adams, Robin Koch, and Illan Meslier pushing for starts.

Max Wober, the Austrian defender, came on as a substitute for his debut following a January move from RB Salzburg and is hoping for a first start.

Patrick Bamford could return to the squad following injury but Luis Sinisterra and Stuart Dallas still have some way to go in their recoveries.

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