Stoke City vs Aston Villa

England, Premier League, 06.04.2013, 16:00h

Neither of these teams would have been contemplating fighting in a relegation scrap, but here we are, 7 games from the end of the season and they are in desperate need of a win. Stoke City haven’t won in 5 matches, yet they come into this match as 21/10 favourites. Do they deserve to be? Tony Pulis has done a fantastic job during his tenure at Stoke City. The Welsh manager has has his critics over the years, but since promotion in 2008 Stoke City have been a well-established Premier League team, without any real scares of relegation – until now. Stoke come into this game in 12th place in the league, which may seem safe, but they are just four points of the relegation zone and are in the second worst form in the league. The Potters have only recorded one victory in their last 10 matches, which was a 2-1 home win against bottom of the league, Reading. Since then, they have lost to Fulham (1-0), West Ham (1-0), Newcastle (2-1) and Everton (1-0). Hardly form to be reckoned with. Aston Villa on the other hand come into this game on the back of a few good performances. Before the 2-1 loss to Liverpool at the weekend the Villans recorded back to back wins with all-important victories over Reading (2-1) and Queens Park Rangers (3-2). Villa also put in impressive performances against Arsenal and Manchester City where they lost by one goal in each match (2-1, 1-0). To many people this game may seem likely to be a home win, but when you look at the stats, this Midlands derby could surprise a few people. Aston Villa have been playing some good football as of late and look very good with the ball. If they improved defensively then they would have no problem winning matches in this league, we’re certain of that. Their good play with the ball has seen them score 18 goals in their last 11 matches and if they hadn’t been so wasteful in front of goal they would have scored a lot more. Similarly, Stoke City have also been lacklustre in front of goal, but unlike Aston Villa they haven’t been able to create enough chances to score any goals. In fact, Stoke City have only managed 1 goal in their last 5 matches, which incidentally was a penalty against Newcastle in a 2-1 defeat. Rstokevsastonvillaecent head to head matches have been low-scoring with only 8 total goals in the last 7 matches played between the two sides. The 0-0 score line has appeared 3 times in the last 7 meetings between these two and it is priced up at 15/2 for this weekend. The game looks like goals are going to be scarce,but who’s going to come out on top? Surprisingly, Stoke City come into the match as 21/20 favourites. We can’t believe this price and we think it is way too short. Stoke City have been poor in front of goal as of late and the stats point to Villa at least scoring one, so at 14/5 the away win is where the value lies. We see the best bet of this match being Aston Villa to win either half at 11/8. The match is likely to be a close encounter and follow suit with recent head to head matches, but we feel the away side will just edge it. Aston Villa have been playing some promising football as of late and have looked good against the top teams in the league, whereas Stoke have been losing to the weaker teams in  the division, without scoring many. So, at the odds, we fancy Villa.

Bet: Away Win @ 3,90

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