It’s hard to know how a team can get back on its feet after a home defeat to Bolton Wanderers, but that’s exactly what Aston Villa must do this weekend as they make the short trip to West Brom.
Stephen Warnock typified the mood at Villa Park by claiming that the club “needed fighters” and as they are now floating just three points above the relegation zone, it is not hard to see where the full-back is coming from.
With owner Randy Lerner being forced to defend under-fire boss Alex McLeish once more, Villa’s plight is hardly likely to improve as they face an in-form opponent, a side that has won four out of its last five home games, all of them without conceding a goal.
This is reflected in bwin’s 3Way football betting market for the match, with West Brom installed as solid 11/10 favourites, the draw at 23/10 and Villa pegged as 12/5 outsiders.
With top scorer Darren Bent missing out and Villa so short of goals regardless, West Brom’s 13/5 odds for winning the game to nil seem like a good means of investing the free £25 bet bwin offer to new subscribers.
With £90 winnings on the cards, West Brom are worth backing in this way, especially as they came back from a goal down to win 2-1 at Villa Park earlier this season after Chris Herd was sent off.
As if Stiliyan Petrov’s leukemia case wasn’t bad enough on its own, McLeish’s diminished squad will also travel to the Hawthorns without Richard Dunne, one of the few defenders capable of guaranteeing some form of defensive solidity.
As West Brom are in hot form, is it such a bad idea to back them at 29/10 to win by more than a one-goal margin in the 0-1 handicap market?
They could definitely pull it off, especially when they have February’s Player of the Month in their ranks.
Peter Odemwingie has plundered ten goals in the league this season and has managed to net first on five occasions – making his 11/2 odds for opening the scoring pretty interesting.
Aston Villa haven’t won on the road since January (when, oddly enough, they beat Bolton), but are in such a tight spot that their pride could push them to react. They are, after all, responsible for winning three games on the road earlier this season, netting three times in each.
Though betting on Villa to score three again may be too much of an outsider (27/4), they did notch two goals in the second half against both Chelsea and Wolves.
Punters who think Villa can get a result could do far worse than back them to fight their way back into the game with two goals after the break at 13/2.
However, I’ll be backing the Baggies to deepen McLeish’s gloom and taking those impressive 29/10 odds on a triumph by two goals or more.
Recommended bet: West Brom to win by at least a one-goal margin @ 29/10 Outside punt: Peter Odemwingie to score first @ 11/2
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