Gerrard pleased with Villa's response
Aston Villa boss Steven Gerrard was impressed with his team's second-half performance against Manchester City in midweek. The Villans trailed 2-0 at the break - Ruben Dias curling home from the edge of the box for the opener midway through the half before a rapid counter-attack ended in a stunning volleyed finish from Bernardo Silva for the second.
Villa have lost all six of the previous games in which they trailed at half-time in the Premier League this season, but Gerrard's interval message worked almost immediately. The hosts took the game to the champions, with Ollie Watkins steering in Douglas Luiz's corner within two minutes of the restart, and 18-year-old Carney Chukwuemeka went close to levelling.
Ultimately, Villa fell short but Gerrard was pleased with his side's efforts. He said, "The performance second half was really good. It maybe deserved that we take something from the game. We lacked a bit of belief at the start of the first half. The reaction I got, I can't ask for more. We have come so close to getting something from the game."
Rodgers unhappy with Leicester's slow start
Leicester chief Brendan Rodgers criticised an "unacceptable" first-half showing from his troops as the Foxes played out an entertaining 2-2 draw at Southampton on Wednesday evening. City were twice forced to come from behind to secure a share of the spoils at St Mary's with Jonny Evans and James Maddison getting on the scoresheet for the guests.
Saints were the better side in the first 45 minutes and broke the deadlock inside the first three minutes. Despite levelling soon after, Leicester were again behind before the break, only to restore parity once more four minutes after the restart. Rodgers' group improved thereafter with Harvey Barnes and Jamie Vardy coming close to securing top honours.
Speaking post-match, Rodgers said, "The first half wasn't acceptable from our perspective. We took too long to get going. We lacked concentration, we made a change at half time and changed the attitude and mentality of the team. The second half was a different game for us. At the end we had the clear chances to win but it's a disappointment, the first half."
Aston Villa have secured maximum points in only two of their past eight Premier League meetings with Leicester over the past six year (W2-D1-L5), with both of last season's encounters going the way of the away team. Remarkably, the duo have returned equal W6-D6-L6 records at Villa Park in head-to-head fixtures across all competitions since 1988.
Aston Villa 2.466/4 earned back-to-back wins in Steven Gerrard's first two fixtures in charges before encountering Manchester City in midweek. The new boss has favoured a four-at-the-back system and the hosts have appeared much assured defensively, whilst providing enough ammunition to notch in all three encounters, to move clear of the bottom-three.
Leicester 3.052/1 have moved into the top-half of the Premier League table having lost just twice in their past nine (W3-D4-L2). However, the Foxes have largely unconvinced with the side's porous rearguard difficult to ignore; the visitors haven't kept a clean sheet since the opening day and have now leaked two goals or more in eight of their most recent 10 tussles.
Both Teams To Score at 1.758/11 looks our best avenue of attack from Super Sunday's showdown. Aston Villa have scored in all bar two of their Premier League matches this term, and converted at least once in every Villa Park encounter in 2021/22. The hosts have struck multiple goals in four of seven home fixtures and recorded a solitary shutout in eight.
And Leicester really bring the bet to life. The Foxes have managed only two clean sheets in 20 across all competitions this season - one of which came against Millwall in the EFL Cup - and taking only league action into account, Brendan Rodgers' outfit have silenced only three of their past 29 Premier League opponents (two of which were relegated last season).
All seven of Leicester's away days have paid out for BTTS backers, and going back further, a record-breaking 14 consecutive Premier League road trips have featured successful Both Teams To Score selections.