Those looking for Aston Villa this weekend will find them slurping alongside Hull in the relegation six-point saloon, with the free-falling west Midlanders praying their almost safe drinking buddies will pick up the tab.
Behind the scenes bust ups, season-ending injuries and, most importantly, five losses and a draw from six, have conspired to push the Villans into a sky-dive from near-nailed on Premier League security to within three points of the drop zone.
Their dramatic capitulation makes a price of 7/1 for relegation well worth backing pronto, as defeat against the Tigers in their final home outing will undoubtedly see these odds slashed.
With Sunderland and Fulham rallying below them, victory against the FA Cup finalists is essential, but Hull are unbeaten in three successive road games and have suffered defeat just four times against bottom-half brethren.
Given Villa’s woeful form, these omens make for worrying reading from the home fans’ perspective, while their Christian Benteke-less attack (they’ve scored two since the Belgian was felled with a severance of the Achilles) must find a way to perforate the top-flight’s shrewdest backline against lower echelon-dwelling outfits.
A mere ten times have Hull had to go digging through their own onion bag to retrieve balls when facing representatives from the less glamorous half of the league.
The triumph that Villa crave, therefore, is anything but assured and the fixture list refuses to hand them any respite either.
Their game in hand on the majority of those below them is sure to be negated given that it’s against title-chasing Manchester City, so failure to do the business against Humberside’s finest will render success paramount when they travel to Tottenham on the last day.
Spurs, however, haven’t lost against Paul Lambert’s side since 2008, beating the beleaguered claret club in each of their last four meetings without conceding a goal.
These stats help make this Hull clash crunchier than a bowl of sun-dried cornflakes and a loss could very well lead to Villa losing their prestigious Premier League ever-present tag, so jump on it now while the getting’s good.