Aston Villa will look to boost their ailing Premier League survival hopes when they take on West Ham in the live Sunday lunchtime kick-off this weekend (1.30pm, Sky Sports 1). The Midlands side find themselves entrenched in the relegation zone and a positive result on Sunday would seem to be imperative as they travel to Arsenal in their next league outing.
Villa have had a torrid time of if of late as embarrassing cup exits to lower league opposition in the form of Bradford and Millwall have added to their league woes. They are down in 19th place in the league table but they do go in as 7/5 favourites for the win this weekend with Ladbrokes, while West Ham can be backed at 9/5 and the draw at 12/5.
Paul Lambert's men are in desperate need of points as they start the weekend two points adrift of safety and without a win in their last eight league games. They earned a creditable 3-3 draw at Everton last weekend as Christian Benteke helped himself to his fifth league goal in his last four outings and he is 9/2 favourite to be first goalscorer on Sunday.
However, Villa have found holding on to leads difficult as they let a 3-1 advantage slip at Everton and they have now failed to win despite taking a lead in four of their last five outings. With that in mind, West Ham could be worth a look to come from behind and win or draw at 9/2 in the latest betting with Ladbrokes.
It is Villa's defensive frailties that continue to cause them problems as they are without a clean sheet in their last nine in the league and their weakness from set pieces has been recognised by every team in the top flight. A visit from a team managed by Sam Allardyce is hardly what they will have wanted and his direct style of play could cause Villa all sorts of problems.
Villa continually concede goals from corners and Bet 365 go 4/1 for the method of Sunday's first goal to be a header. That looks a decent punt when you consider the bulky form of Andy Carroll is likely to lead the Hammers line and he is 11/2 to score first or 7/4 to score anytime after marking his return from injury with the only goal in West Ham's 1-0 win over Swansea last weekend.
That was their first win in seven outings and it was a result that pushed them firmly into mid-table. They look secure this season but their away form will be a real worry as they have picked up just one point from their last seven away games, losing 5-1 to Arsenal and 3-1 to Fulham in their last two respectively.
Villa will fancy their chances of improving on a record of having scored just two goals in their last seven league games at Villa Park against this leaky West Ham defence and the goalscorer markets could provide interest in this Aston Villa v West Ham clash. Ladbrokes are offering a money back special on losing in-play next scorer and correct score bets if there is a red card shown in Sunday's match and that could be worth a look as Villa have the worst disciplinary record in the division (51 yellow cards, 2 reds), while Sunday's referee, Mark Clattenburg, has shown the most red cards in the top flight (six red cards in 14 matches).
Aston Villa v West Ham Form
Check the season's statistics for both Aston Villa and West Ham, plus the odds ahead of Sunday's match.
Aston Villa v West Ham Tips
Tip #1: West Ham to come from behind and win or draw @ 9/2 with Ladbrokes.
Tip #2: Andy Carroll to score anytime @ 7/4 with Ladbrokes.
Tip #3: First goal method to be a header @ 4/1 with Bet365.
7/5 Aston Villa
9/5 West Ham
Correct Score Odds
7/1 Aston Villa 1-0
10/1 Aston Villa 2-0
9/1 Aston Villa 2-1
7/1 Draw 0-0
11/2 Draw 1-1
14/1 Draw 2-2
8/1 West Ham 1-0
12/1 West Ham 2-0
10/1 West Ham 2-1
First Goalscorer Odds
9/2 Christian Benteke
11/2 Darren Bent
11/2 Andy Carroll
7/1 Andreas Weimann
7/1 Carlton Cole
7/1 No Goalscorer
8/1 Gabriel Agbonlahor
8/1 Kevin Nolan
8/1 Marouane Chamakh
9/1 Wellington Paulista
9/1 Jordan Bowery
9/1 Ricardo Vaz Te
Odds supplied by Ladbrokes.com, who offer live in-play betting for all Premier League matches.
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