Aston Villa boss Tim Sherwood’s honeymoon period is over and his former side, Tottenham, could plunge his new team deeper into the English Premier League relegation mire on Saturday.
Back-to-back wins over traditional rival West Bromwich and a 4-0 victory at Sunderland feel like ancient history to Aston Villa supporters who have seen their side lose 0-1 at home to Swansea, 1-3 away to Manchester City and require a late hat-trick-completing Christian Benteke equaliser to salvage a 3-3 home draw with another troubled team, Queens Park Rangers, since the Villans won three consecutive games.
One’s view is that the betting world got carried away with Aston Villa’s three victories and that its recent results, including what one can only describe as a very disappointing English Premier League home draw with Queens Park Rangers, are a fair reflection of its ability or lack thereof.
UEFA Champions League qualification may be beyond Tottenham but Liverpool’s detachment from the top four provides Spurs with a shot at fifth place and a guaranteed berth in the group stage of the UEFA Europa League. Tottenham cannot afford to slip below sixth on the English Premier League ladder because that would see it miss out on Europe.
Therefore, one expects Tottenham, which still has to visit seventh-placed Southampton before the end of the English Premier League season, to be desperate for three points when Aston Villa and its Spurs old boy coach arrive at White Hart Lane. Tottenham is available at odds of -167 with PaddyPower and WilliamHill to beat Aston Villa, which is what happened in the reverse English Premier League fixture.
Arsenal destroyed Liverpool in last weekend’s top English Premier League match and one is keen to back the Gunners to consolidate their grip on second place by beating Burnley at Turf Moor, a bet that is trading at odds of -175 with many bookmakers, including Betfred, Coral and Totesport.
Burnley’s 1-0 home defeat of Manchester City does not read as well now as it did four weeks ago and the Clarets have posted only two English Premier League wins – the other was a 2-1 home victory over travel-sick Queens Park Rangers – in their last 15 divisional games. As much as everyone admires Burnley and its manager, Sean Dyche, that is relegation form in any language and a long way off what will be required to beat Arsenal, which has won seven successive English Premier League matches, 10 of its last 11 and 12 of its last 14.
Finally, one advised backing under two and a half goals in Southampton’s English Premier League game at Everton – it ended in a 0-1 loss for the Saints – and one recommends taking odds of -137 with Ladbrokes about its home match against Hull going under the popular goals line also.
For the sake of latecomers to the party, Southampton is the English Premier League’s king of under two and a half goals, with 21 of its 31 games paying dividends, including 10 of its 16 home matches. Hull is not far behind Southampton, either – 18 of its 31 English Premier League matches have gone under two and a half goals, including nine of its 16 away games. One expects that Hull will play negatively at Southampton in the hope that it can earn a priceless away point in its battle to stay in the English Premier League.
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