Blackburn Rovers and Aston Villa have both experienced below-par seasons to date and will be continuing the fight for their Premier League survival when they lock horns at Ewood Park on Saturday.
Steve Kean’s men had their first taste of life after Christopher Samba last weekend, losing 3-0 to league leaders Manchester City in the most comprehensive fashion imaginable.
After the towering centre-back fled Lancashire to take residence at Anzhi Makhachkala in Russia, questions were raised as to how Rovers could get out of the trouble they currently find themselves in.
Aston Villa have also lost a key player, as hotshot Darren Bent was ruled out for the remainder of the season after picking up an ankle injury in last weekend’s draw at Wigan.
With Robbie Keane also gone after his short-term loan from LA Galaxy, one wonders where the firepower will come from in a Villa side that has looked limp up top through most of this campaign, as we discussed earlier this week.
The saving grace for Alex McLeish’s side is that Blackburn have been leaking goals like Harry Redknapp leaks transfer stories, conceding 14 in their four games in February. Villa have also won the previous four meetings between the sides.
The Midlands club are a none-too-shabby 2/1 to make it five and grab an away win, which is not to be ignored as they have lost only three away games this season, though at the same time have only won three.
With their other seven games on the road finishing in draws, you could be forgiven for thinking that the 23/10 on a stalemate offers terrific value.
However, the fact that Blackburn have not tied a single home game raises a further question mark. Kean’s men have been a complete mixed bag at Ewood Park this campaign, winning four and losing nine.
Despite the loss of Samba, with the firepower of 14-goal Yakubu and the service of the impressive Junior Hoilett, Rovers have every chance of grabbing a vital win.
The price of 13/10 may not look huge for a rare Blackburn success, but victory in their last home game against QPR may just give them the confidence to go again.
Punters can claim a free £25 bet for joining bwin.com and placing this on Blackburn to beat Aston Villa would return if the hosts do indeed get a much-needed victory.
But if the 3Way price does not tempt you, backing a 2-1 home win at odds of 8/1 could offer a more profitable route into a Rovers success.
With their defensive problems and Villa’s decent away record, it would be no surprise to see both teams score but for the hosts to just about edge it.
Recommended bet: Blackburn to beat Aston Villa @ 13/10
Outside punt: Blackburn to beat Aston Villa 2-1 @ 8/1
New customers can register here to claim a free £25 bet or click here to see all our Premier League odds.
Follow us on Twitter @bwinbetting