With a solitary strike between them in their last four games combined, Aston Villa and Cardiff look set for a dour struggle for three points, making the best way to extract enjoyment and profit from their encounter at Villa Park backing the 0-0 correct score at 29/4.
The Villans are weighty 9/10 favourites for their second home win of the season, while the Welsh capitalists are 3/1 for victory and the draw can be backed at odds of 12/5.
Villa have scored in just one of their last six games in all competitions.
Watching Paul Lambert’s side has been a somewhat tantric affair for claret and blue diehards of late with not one goal’s worth of release in four matches.
The fact that goalkeeper Brad Guzan is one of four players who can claim to be the sides joint-second top assister underlines a lack of creativity as its root cause, an issue which will only be exacerbated by Andreas Weimann’s injury.
The Bluebirds arrive in the Midlands on a run of two successive shutouts.
Chelsea’s 4-1 win over Cardiff is the only time that the Welsh side have allowed more than two goals past David Marshall, but they’ve developed the happy knack of keeping clean sheets against sides of a similar calibre to Villa recently.
The away point at Norwich and the home win over Swansea shows they’re adept at both battening down the hatches and running proceedings from a defensive point of view, with Gary Medel instrumental in taking pressure off their back four.
Malky Mackay’s men average just three shots on target in top-flight away trips this term.
An attacking output of just one keeper-troubler during their Carrow Road rearguard effort did nothing for what was already the Premier League’s second-least effective team for efforts on goal.
Unfortunately for them they face a Villa side that have finally remembered how to keep a clean sheet, with their recent shutout at West Ham equalling their total on that metric for the whole of last season.