A draw at Burnley saw Aston Villa’s winless run elongated to nine games as the threat of relegation intensifies by the week.
Failure to beat the likes Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City are excusable, but an inability to see off the weakest side in the division in every capacity aside from league placing suggests trouble is afoot.
As it stands, the Villans are 7/2 to be relegated, while a price of 13/5 says their spoil-snaring aversion will end before it hits the ten game mark at Crystal Palace next.
Neil Warnock’s Eagles are beginning to get off the ground again following an autumnal dry spell, picking up four points from their last two against Liverpool and Swansea.
They’ll be eagerly awaiting the visit of the off-key Villans then, especially once they’ve factored in that the claret-clad club haven’t won at Selhurst Park since 1980.
Both history and current form indicate that Paul Lambert’s joyless streak is going to go on into double digits, but where will it end?
With Midlands foes Leicester and West Brom pencilled in after their Palace sojourn, the elusive three points surely can’t be too far away.
Or so it would seem.
Both of the promoted clubs to face Villa so far have dodged defeat, which lends favour to the Foxes, while Albion have been bested by only foe to finish outside of last season’s top five at the Hawthorns.
It’s 2/1 that Leicester suffer the ignominy of allowing Lambert’s men to end their run, while twice as large 4/1 says it comes at the Baggies’ expense.
If it’s against neither of these, then expect the sequence to hit at least 14 games, with Manchester United potentially the 13th adversary they’ll prove incapable of slaying.
The Red Devils, who so frequently prevail at Villa Park, are 9/1 to be the next counterpart the west Midlanders fell, but with Louis van Gaal’s side hitting form, it’s difficult to see how they can do the business here.
A trip to Swansea follows, whom the Villans have bested just once in Premier League history, which means it might be worth punting on the 11/1 that Sunderland will allow them off the hook after an incredible 15 matches.
The Black Cats have won just one league game on the road all season, failing to score in four of their last five and if Villa are unable to get the better of such poor travellers then no win until 2015 looks the best possible bet.
It’s on offer at 6/1 with bwin.