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Chelsea swept aside Aston Villa without conceding a goal when the teams met at Stamford Bridge in September and one expects to witness a similar result when they meet again in the English Premier League at Villa Park on Saturday.
Aston Villa lost 0-5 at Arsenal on its last English Premier League outing, failing to score for its six league game in a row and never looking likely to do so at any stage. Former England defender Danny Mills could not restrain himself in his commentary role, openly questioning the tactics of Paul Lambert as the Aston Villa manager sat on his hands until the match was as good as over. Eleven goals in 23 English Premier League games is a disgraceful return for any side, let alone one that has a weapon in the form of Christian Benteke in its forward line. To put Aston Villa’s English Premier League goal tally into some context, four players – Diego Costa, Sergio Aguero, Charlie Austin and Alexis Sanchez – have outscored the Villans on their own.
Chelsea could have all but wrapped up the English Premier League title with a home win over Manchester City on Sunday but the championship race remains alive after the Citizens fought back to earn a 1-1 draw. One does not fancy stepping into Chelsea at odds of -278 with Boylesports to accrue three English Premier League points from its trip to Aston Villa but one is quite keen to back the Blues at odds of +100 with the same bookmaker to win to nil.
One did consider dutching Chelsea to beat Aston Villa 1-0 or 2-0 at odds of around +190 with various bookmakers because Chelsea will be without Costa’s services at Villa Park. But one cannot get out of one’s head how poorly Aston Villa’s holding midfielders shielded their team’s central defenders against Arsenal, an English Premier League match in which the Gunners could have hit double digits on another day.
Both Newcastle and Stoke are coming off English Premier League wins over sides in the bottom three, Hull and Queens Park Rangers respectively. One was expecting bookmakers to list Newcastle at shorter odds than the ones at which the Magpies are trading because Stoke has lost its best player, Bojan Krkic, for most of the rest of the season. Every team has beaten Queens Park Rangers at home but Newcastle remains a tough English Premier League road trip and Sunday will be the day that we find out if Stoke will sink or swim without the winger who has cut a dash on the flanks for the Potters.
Stoke has won six and drawn one of its last eight games in all competitions but the Potters have not defeated a team ranked higher than Newcastle during that period. One could say the same about Newcastle – the Magpies have not beaten a top-10 side since shocking Chelsea 2-0 at St James’ Park in early December – so one is not getting carried away. Betting is about obtaining value, though, and Newcastle should be shorter than odds of +130 with several bookmakers, including Betfred and Coral. Odds of +110 would be fair.
Playing the value card again and West Ham is over the odds to avoid defeat versus Manchester United in their English Premier League match at the Boleyn Ground on Sunday. West Ham has won seven and drawn two of its 12 English Premier League home games, while Manchester United has posted just three away victories – two of them fortuitous, just ask Arsenal and Southampton fans – in its 11 divisional road matches. For such a flawed team as Manchester United to be trading at around even money away to West Ham is mad so back the Hammers at odds of -115 with Boylesports not to lose.
With regards to English Premier League exotics, look out for odds about Sunderland having more cards points than Swansea in their English Premier League game at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday. Sunderland is the English Premier League’s baddest boy, averaging 26.30 cards points in its 23 matches compared to Swansea’s mean of 19.34 card points. No English Premier League side has collected fewer yellow cards than Swansea, which has picked up 32 cautions. Phil Dowd will be the referee and away teams have a 8-4-5 record on this exotic market in his 17 English Premier League games.
Chelsea WTN v Aston Villa
7th February 15:00 GMT
Where to Bet: Boylesports
West Ham to win/draw v Manchester United
8th February 16:15 GMT
Where to Bet: Boylesports
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