Rightfully lauded since booking their FA Cup final berth against Liverpool it may be something of a rude awakening for Aston Villa to see themselves priced up at 23/2 to win their very next outing.
That’s precisely the assessment of the bwin layers, who make Manchester City 7/25 favourites to deflate the buoyant midlanders at the Etihad.
It seems a scathing valuation of the Villans’ chances in light of their thoroughly deserved victory at Wembley last time out.
Like City, Liverpool are side that have been credited with playing the best football in the Premier League at times this season, but currently find themselves in a form funk.
Brendan Rodgers’ men have now lost three of their last nine games in all competitions.
Yet, the Sky Blues are far sicklier, having been bested in six of their last nine outings.
In the FA Cup, Villa were able to dominate a fractured Liverpool midfield lacking in fluency.
City’s middle band is absorbed in a similar morass of uncertainty, with Yaya Toure and Fernandinho often deeply unreliable bedfellows in a central twosome.
The prevailing currents of disorder present before the semi-final are present once more this weekend, with one subtle difference…
Villa confidence will be all the greater for having defied underdog status to secure their date with destiny in May.
Tim Sherwood’s side have now won five of their last eight in all competitions, including three away successes at Sunderland and, more pertinently, Tottenham.
That victory over the Lilywhites means they have deservedly bested two top-six foes back to back, meaning it’s far from beyond the realms of possibility that a third consecutive scalp is added to the list.
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