Aston Villa are still hopeful of forcing their way into the Championship promotion play-offs. A win at home to third-placed Sheffield United will see Villa move up to within a point of the top six. For the visitors, a United win is even more important as it’ll take them top of the table.
Aston Villa are fast reaching the stage where they have to put together a good run of form. The weekend saw them held to a goalless draw at struggling Reading. That was their 13th league draw of the season and if just two of them had been converted into wins, they’d be in the promotion play-off places. The odds of draw number 14 for Villa are 5/2 (3.5) at BetVictor.
Villa need a win though because the last six league games have only produced one victory. That was a 2-1 home win over bottom of the table Ipswich Town who look doomed to relegation. This is a lot harder and the odds on Villa beating Sheffield United are 8/5 (2.6) at William Hill.
Sheffield United are third in the Championship and a win here will take them top on goal difference. Only one of their last eight league games has ended in defeat, a 1-0 loss at Swansea City in January.
Only one of their last four away league games has been won. Their most recent game on the road saw them draw 2-2 at league leaders Norwich City. They had to come from 2-0 down to get that point though with Billy Sharp scoring both of them.
It’s a vital period of time for United with some tough fixtures on the horizon. Upcoming games against Middlesbrough and West Bromwich Albion will certainly test their promotion credentials.
Head to Head
Both teams have scored in four of the last five games between these two sides. The odds at Betfair on both Villa and Sheffield United scoring in this match are 4/7 (1.57) at Paddy Power. United’s last league win at Villa Park was in January 1966, though they did win an FA Cup tie there five years ago.
New loan signings Tyrone Mings and Tom Carroll are expected to make their home debuts for Aston Villa.
Over 2.5 Goals Likely
Aston Villa may not be the league leaders in terms of points earned, but they do top one table. When it comes to the under/over 2.5 goals market, Villa sit at the top of the table. 19 out of 30 league games played have seen over 2.5 goals scored. That’s just two more than the total achieved by their opponents. A bore draw doesn’t look on the cards here then. The odds on over 2.5 goals being scored in this match are 8/11 (1.72) at Coral.
As Sharp as Ever
Sheffield United striker Billy Sharp is in top form at present. The record goal scorer already has 20 this season with three in his last two games. He’s 9/2 (5.5) at Betway to score the first goal and 7/5 (2.4) at SkyBet to score any time in the game.
Villa Keep Scoring and Conceding
Only West Bromwich Albion have scored more home goals in the Championship than Aston Villa. They have scored at least twice in each of their last eight home league games. You can get odds of 4/6 (1.66) at Coral on them scoring at least twice in this game. The trouble for Villa is they have also conceded at least twice in seven of their last eight home league games.
Three of the last four Aston Villa home league games have ended in a 2-2 draw. Fans are probably still trying to get over the astonishing 5-5 draw at Villa Park with Nottingham Forest. Both Villa and United are high-scorers and a bet on a draw with both teams to score is 3/1 (4.0) at Sportingbet.