Aston Villa v Brentford - Wednesday 19:45

Aston Villa won the shot count 26-3 against Nottingham Forest on Sunday but could only draw 2-2, leaving Roberto Di Matteo bemused by a result he described as difficult to take. The performance was further evidence that the Villans are heading in the right direction, but the outcome gives ongoing encouragement to underdog backers - they are simply not the finished article.

Villa won’t be as dominant here and if their game-management doesn’t improve, they will be particularly vulnerable against a Brentford team that delivered a classic away performance at Brighton on Saturday. Unlike most visitors to the Amex, the Bees weathered the initial 30-minute kitchen-sink job from Chris Hughton’s men, nicked a goal and controlled it thereafter.

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At this moment, you have to say Brighton are more accomplished opposition than Villa, so the Londoners should need no convincing of their ability to repeat the trick. For Dean Smith, a boyhood Villa fan, this game carries even more significance. In a career that stretches back 27 years, this will be his first ever appointment at Villa Park.

Take the 4/1 available on Brentford to win and throw in the 17/2 on Brentford to win to nil for good measure. In Dan Bentley, the Bees have a keeper of vast potential. The clean sheet in Sussex was his third in six matches since securing a move to Griffin Park, adding to the 33 he had accumulated in the previous two seasons with Southend.

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Brentford to win - 1pt @ 4/1
Brentford to win to nil - 1pt @ 17/2