Sunderland take on Aston Villa's at the Stadium of Light on Saturday afternoon and both sides are in desperate need of points. Their respective Premier League performances have been truly woeful so far which doesn't bode well for a classic this weekend but Sunderland go in as favourites as Black Cats boss Martin O'Neill comes up against his former club.
When O'Neill left Villa it was assumed he would go on to bigger and better things but it hasn't quite worked out like that as Sunderland are 14th in the league and O'Neill finds himself under a bit of pressure. Sunderland are 11/10 to win and ease that pressure with Bet Victor this weekend, while Paul Lambert's Villa are 29/10 and the draw is a tempting 23/10.
O'Neill will be keen to get one over his old club after leaving in acrimonious circumstances a couple of years ago but his more immediate concern will be getting his current team firing. Sunderland could only draw 0-0 with Stoke last weekend prior to an embarrassing 1-0 defeat to Middlesbrough in the Capital One Cup on Tuesday.
Their goalscoring form has been woeful and only Steven Fletcher, who is unsurprisingly 22/5 favourite to score first, has looked like scoring. Fletcher has scored five goals this season but he has failed to score in his last four and that has coincided with Sunderland failing to score in three of their last four, with their only goal coming courtesy of a Demba Ba own goal!
Six of Sunderland's eight league games have gone under 2.5 goals this season, as have seven of Villa's nine and Victor Chandler has priced that market accordingly for Saturday by going 13/20 on. They also offer 17/2 for no goalscorer in the match in what promises to be something of a damp squib at the Stadium of Light.
The positive thing for Sunderland is the fact that they have lost just one of their last nine league games at home, while Villa have been nothing short of atrocious on the road as they have failed to win any of their last 13 away games. They have actually only won one of the last 19 home and away in the league and they find themselves in 17th place in the table.
Paul Lambert needs three points to ease the pressure but recent performances won't have helped as they were outplayed for much of their 1-1 draw with Norwich last Saturday before wobbling en route to a 3-2 win over Swindon in the Capital One Cup on Tuesday. The form of Christian Benteke has been one bright spot for Villa as the Belgian has scored three in his last two and he is 8/1 in the first goalscorer betting.
However, Villa have rarely shown up for away games this season, losing to West Ham, Fulham, Tottenham and Southampton so far, and they might just play for a draw here. They have at least lost only one of their last six games at the Stadium of Light and considering the form of both teams it could be worth backing a low scoring draw, with the correct score of 1-1 available at 6/1.
Sunderland v Aston Villa Form
Check the season's statistics for both Sunderland and Aston Villa, plus the odds ahead of Saturday's match.
Sunderland v Aston Villa Tips
Tip #1: Draw @ 23/10 with BetVictor.
Tip #2: Christian Benteke to score first @ 8/1 with BetVictor.
Tip #3: Correct score 1-1 @ 6/1 with BetVictor.
29/10 Aston Villa
Correct Score Odds
13/2 Sunderland 1-0
17/2 Sunderland 2-0
17/2 Draw 0-0
6/1 Draw 1-1
16/1 Draw 2-2
17/2 Aston Villa 1-0
20/1 Aston Villa 2-0
13/1 Aston Villa 2-1
First Goalscorer Odds
22/5 Steven Fletcher
11/2 Louis Saha
6/1 Ryan Noble
6/1 Dong-Won Ji
13/2 Stephane Sessegnon
7/1 Darren Bent
15/2 Conor Wickham
8/1 Christian Benteke
17/2 No Goalscorer
19/2 Gabriel Agbonlahor
19/2 James McFadden
21/2 Adam Johnson
Odds supplied by BetVictor.com, who offer live betting in-running for all Premier League games.
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