Sports Betting Weekly

Liverpool v Aston Villa

When: Sunday, 19 April 2015 @ 21:00 (FINISHED)
Where: Wembley Stadium
The weekend’s other F.A. Cup semi-final sees an all-Premier League clash pit Liverpool against Aston Villa in a game that Reds boss, Brendan Rodgers, knows his side will have to win if they don’t want their first season post-Luis Suarez to end with little more than a whimper.

A lot of the narrative in the weeks preceding this year’s cup final has centred on Liverpool captain, Steven Gerrard, who – should the Reds defeat Aston Villa this weekend – could make his final appearance for the club at Wembley on what will be his 35th birthday. Villa boss Tim Sherwood, however, will not care one iota for sentiment as he aims to enhance his reputation by crashing that particular party.

In truth, it is a somewhat tired angle being pushed by certain sections of the media given Gerrard is not only not a guaranteed starter for Rodgers’ men this season, but that he also raised questions about his big match temperament after being sent off against Liverpool’s bitter rivals, Manchester United, after just 38 seconds. Nevertheless, a fairytale F.A. Cup win for Gerrard and Liverpool is being backed at 7/4, while the Reds are also viewed as 8/13 favourites to overcome Aston Villa here.

Having beaten his former club, Tottenham Hotspur, in their own backyard last weekend, Sherwood will go into the semi-final confident that his side can continue their recent improvement – and with Christian Benteke having now netted eight goals in his last six games, there’s every chance that the 21/4 on a Villa win is slightly wide of the mark here, with a draw also not out of the question at 3/1.

Certainly, in terms of recent history between the two sides, there isn’t actually all that much to separate Liverpool and Aston Villa, with the Reds winning three of their last six meetings to Villa’s two and the other match ending as a draw. Of the three matches Liverpool have won, two have been wins to nil – which is available here at 7/4 – while having beaten Liverpool at Anfield by a 1-0 scoreline earlier this season, you can get a massive 10/1 on Aston Villa winning without conceding.

Typically matches between the two sides do not feature a lot of goals, making the 42/41 available on the game finishing with under 2.5 goals a standout bet at slight odds against, while a victory by one goal either way is currently available at 6/4. In terms of predicting a correct scoreline, the bookies are split almost 50/50 between 1-0 and 2-0 to Liverpool (with both available at around 7/1), but given what we know about the two sides’ recent meetings, 1-0 to Villa looks mighty big at 16/1.

Naturally, with Benteke hitting form and scoring in the 1-0 victory over Spurs last weekend, he looks the pick of Villa’s options for first scorer here at 8/1 and can also be worked into a scorecast with 1-0 at a massive price of 66/1. For Liverpool, meanwhile, Jordan Henderson is currently the man in form with four goals in his last six appearances – and with penalty duties seemingly secured when Gerrard is off the pitch, there’s certainly a spot of value to be had in backing him to score anytime at 11/4.