iBet: Aston Villa were lucky not to be relegated last season
Back Aston Villa to finish in the bottom half at 8/13 with Ladbrokes
Lay Aston Villa for a top ten finish at 6/4 with Betfair
Aston Villa are one to seven on to finish in the top 15 of the Premier League, which is, frankly, ridiculous for a team who were lucky to avoid relegation last season and finished in 16th position. Admittedly they have a talented new manager in charge in Paul Lambert, a man with a reputation for getting the best out of a limited budget. And he has key striker Darren Bent back from injury. Lambert has bought in three talented but unproven players from Holland, plus Matt Lowton from Sheffield United. He has offloaded Emile Heskey, plus defenders Carlos Cuellar and James Collins. However, Lambert does not had a huge pool of quality to draw on and the losses pre-season of key forwards Marc Albrighton and Gaby Agbonlahor and defensive linchpin Richard Dunne to long term injuries are serious blows. Villa were relatively sound at the back last year but only Stoke scored fewer goals than the 37 they managed in 38 games. They now have a new back line, and finding the net could again be their Achilles heel.
There are lots of Capital One Cup games in England tonight but with team news hard to come by I won’t be getting involved in any of them. Manchester City are beset priced 13/2 to win the cup, with Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United and Liverpool at all 9/1.
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