It’s all change at Villa Park.
Since the last Aston Villa home game we’ve seen a change in management, with Brentford boss Dean Smith taking the reigns at his home town club, with former Chelsea and Villa defender John Terry also joining up as one of Smith’s assistants. Their first assignment is a home match against a Swansea City side that don’t travel at all well.
Two wins from six away games isn’t a terrible record for the Swans, but recent games have seen the goals dry up at an alarming rate. Graham Potter’s side have scored in just one of their last five away Championship games, and that has included matches at the likes of Birmingham City, Stoke and Wigan – three places where they should have had hopes of getting at least a point. That should give Villa plenty of hope of registering a first clean sheet under their new boss, and at 33/20 it looks like a great price.
The Villa win looks like a solid accumulator pick at 10/11 with Coral, and it’s going straight into mine. Despite Villa failing to hit any sort of heights this season, they still find themselves just four points outside the play-offs, meaning a good run of form will put them right back in contention. They have undoubted quality up front in the likes of Tammy Abraham and Yannick Bolasie, and with Swansea boasting a fairly young and experienced side, this is a good time for Villa to cash in on the Swans’ poor form.
However, a slight caveat will present itself in the recent history books. Swansea have a strangely good record against Aston Villa. The Welsh side have won their last five games against the Midlanders, and haven’t lost against their hosts in over seven years. A slight omen, perhaps? A Swansea win, if you fancy it, is a big 3/1.
However, I can’t see Villa being denied a victory here. Dean Smith showed in his Brentford and Walsall days that his sides can play some great football, and his local roots are sure to have delivered a feel-good factor back to the club. Swansea, for me, are set for a year of mid-table mediocrity, and I can’t see them troubling a still-very strong Villa outfit. The Aston Villa home win and clean sheet double looks like a good bet here at 23/10 with Coral.
Championship Treble: £10 on Nottingham Forest (to beat Norwich City), West Brom (Wigan) and Stoke (Birmingham) returns just short of £100 with William Hill.
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