Sports Betting Weekly

Aston Villa v West Bromwich Albion

When: Saturday, 07 March 2015 @ 23:30 (FINISHED)
Where: Villa Park
Saturday offers Aston Villa a chance to repeat their most recent league performance as they brace themselves for an F.A. Cup quarter-final clash against Midlands rivals, West Bromwich Albion, with a day out at Wembley Stadium the reward for the tie’s eventual victors.

With Tim Sherwood’s men mired deep in a relegation battle, a second local derby win in a week could provide Villa with the springboard they need to take their cup form into the league as they look to emulate their top flight rivals, who – following the recruitment of experienced manager Tony Pulis – have seemingly navigated their way past any serious threat of relegation.

The problem for Villa is that – in the league at least – they’ve forgotten how to score goals, having found the net just 15 times all season. In the cup they’ve struck five times with five different scorers – but since Pulis walked through the door in January, West Brom have claimed eight clean sheets from a possible 11 and it’s hard to see Villa’s scoring woes easing again against such a well-drilled outfit.

With this in mind, you can get West Brom to win to nil at 7/2 – a bet that looks even more tempting when you consider the Baggies’ form in the cup has been tremendous, with 13 goals scored in three games; or two fewer goals than Villa have managed in their entire league campaign to date.

With talented young striker, Saido Berahino, having hit 10 goals in his last 12 games, it’s hard to see him not heaping more misery on Villa and the handicap market seems inclined to agree. You can currently get West Brom to win from a -1 disadvantage at 5/1 or a massive 16/1 if you back the Baggies to triumph from a -2 handicap, while the young English forward is reckoned at 6/1 to be the game’s first goalscorer and 2/1 to score at any time in the match.

All hope is not lost for Villa, however, as West Brom’s 1-0 league win in December is the Baggies’ only win in seven attempts against their Midlands rivals. If you believe the history books will play a part again in this match, you can get Villa to win outright at 17/10 – though of those seven games, four were draws, which may be the stronger option here at 23/10.

For those who believe Villa’s shocking run of form has started to come to an end and fancy Sherwood’s influence to revitalise the team, it may be worth looking at Christian Benteke to find the net. While the Belgian has just four goals to his name this season, the most recent of those was the coolly struck penalty that won this game in the league on Tuesday. At Spurs, Sherwood soon managed to get electric form out of Emmanuel Adebayor, and Villa fans will be hoping he can repeat the trick with their own big front man, who is 11/2 to open the scoring or 9/5 to net anytime.