Aston Villa’s finest performances have come on the road this season, but that’s exactly why their counter-attacking modus operandi is fancied to give a tired Tottenham a hard time in the clubs’ midweek Capital One Cup showdown at Villa Park and Paul Lambert’s men are a big price for a 1-0 victory at 21/2.
Spurs are even money favourites to record their third win in the space of six days, with the hosts 5/2 and a draw at the end of normal time 12/5.
Backing a correct score is all the more appealing an option with bwin refunding bets on all losing correct score, first-half correct score and multiple correct score wagers if Roberto Soldado nets his third goal in six games for Tottenham at any point in proceedings, even extra-time.
The Villans posted their second victory of the season last time out against Norwich and like their win on the opening day it came away from home.
Given the strength of their attacking unit lies in the pace and directness of Gabriel Agbonlahor and Andreas Weimann (particularly in the absence of the injured Christian Benteke) it’s hardly surprising that they find more joy away from home, where they are free to soak up pressure and hit sides on the break rather than attempt to pick their way through massed defensive ranks.
Luckily for them they’re up against a Tottenham side whose hunger for the ball sees them second-top of the Premier League ball retention table, with an average of 59.1 per cent of the possession over their opening five games.
That Andre Villas-Boas’ men are capable of doing this away from home is clear in the wake of the 1-0 victory in Cardiff that saw the home side begin to look hungrily at the pies being consumed in the stands, such was the relentlessness of the Lilywhite siege.
Despite their selfish guarding of the ball Spurs have managed a return of just five goals from 105 shots across their five games this season, scoring only twice in three road games against Premier League opposition.
Tottenham’s inability to covert dominance into goals at a decent ratio should give the Villans the belief that pinching a goal on the counter could be enough to win them the tie.
The light at the end of Aston Villa’s defensive tunnel looks that bit brighter after the hosts ended a run of 26 games without a clean sheet against Norwich last time out and this match could be a relatively staid affair on the goal front too.
Villa only lost 1-0 at home to a team of similar attacking gifts to Spurs in Liverpool and they should be able to continue the trend of low-scoring away games for a Lilywhites’ side bound to be somewhat fatigued having played on Thursday and Sunday.
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