iBet: Crunch game at Villa Park too tight to call

Gareth Purnell

Aston Villa V Sunderland, kick off 8pm

Back the draw at 3.45 with Betfair

What a huge game this is for both sides. Four games ago confidence among Sunderland fans was at rock bottom with relegation a real possibility. But Paulo Di Canio has come in and weaved some kind of Italian magic and the Black Cats are now one win from safety.  However, three points are never easy to come by at this level and should they lose, Sunderland are right back in the relegation mix. Villa beat Sunderland 1-0 at The Stadium of Light earlier in the season and they have been playing well – or at least attacking well – lately. They may be 17th in the table but they are above Sunderland in the eight match form guide. The problem is they always concede, or at least have done for the last 18 games – the longest such run in the Premier League. If Villa can win this crunchiest of crunch games they open up a five-point gap between themselves and Wigan. But there is a feeling that their swift, counter-attacking style suits playing away from home better than in front of their own fans. This is such a hard game to call, and the draw may well be the best betting option.

Bookies are making Manchester United 13/8 favourites to win next season’s Premier League title with Manchester City 11/5, Chelsea 7/2, Arsenal 14/1, Liverpool and Spurs 20/1 and Everton 150/1.

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