Saturday evening's live Premier League match is a West Midlands derby as West Brom welcome Aston Villa to the Hawthorns. Both of these sides are struggling for form heading into the game but there is no doubt about who is in better shape as the Baggies sit comfortably in the top half of the table while Villa are in the doldrums down in the relegation zone.
It is no surprise to see that West Brom start the match as 8/11 odds on favourites with Ladbrokes, who offer 7/2 for a rare Villa win and 11/4 for the draw. The weekend's match could prove to be a defining one for Villa's season in particular as they bid to halt a run of form that has seen them lose five of their last seven.
The only positive results to come from that run was a 2-1 win over Championship strugglers Ipswich in the FA Cup and a very fortuitous 2-2 draw at Swansea in the league. They have since lost 1-0 at home to Southampton and the pressure is really beginning to mount on Paul Lambert in the next manager to be sacked betting.
The next few matches are likely to be a defining period in Lambert's time in charge as he struggles to move his side away from the relegation zone, while they will try to overcome a 3-1 deficit in their Capital One Cup semi-final with Bradford next week before travelling to Millwall in the FA Cup next Saturday.
It is an unenviable task that Lambert faces and it is a damning statistic that Villa have the worst defensive record in the top-flight, conceding 42 goals, while they boast the joint-worst attack with just 16 goals to their name. The young Andreas Weimann has been one bright spot this season as he has scored six in his last eight and he is 5/2 to score anytime in the latest betting with Ladbrokes.
Villa will fancy their chances of getting on the scoresheet against their Midlands rivals as West Brom have failed to keep a clean sheet in seven. The match could offer up a few goals when you consider Villa are without a clean sheet in nine and over 2.5 goals is available at 5/6, while West Brom to score over 2.5 goals themselves can be backed at 5/2.
Steve Clarke's side would be disappointed not to score at least one against this Villa side and they go into the match unbeaten in the last four West Brom v Aston Villa fixtures. Their recent form will be more of a concern as they have lost four of their last five, including last weekend's last-gasp 3-2 defeat at Reading.
West Brom had been utterly dominant against the Royals for 80 minutes as Romelu Lukaku grabbed a brace to take his tally to nine for the season. He is 4/1 favourite to score first on Saturday and that could be worth a look as Villa have conceded the first goal in each of their last seven. It is tough to make a case for Villa at this stage and West Brom to win 3-1 is a tempting 12/1 punt.
West Brom v Aston Villa Form
Check the season's statistics for both West Brom and Aston Villa, plus the odds ahead of Saturday's match.
West Brom v Aston Villa Tips
Tip #1: Over 2.5 goals @ 5/6 with Ladbrokes.
Tip #2: Andreas Weimann to score anytime @ 10/3 with Ladbrokes.
Tip #3: West Brom to win 3-1 @ 12/1 with Ladbrokes.
8/11 West Brom
7/2 Aston Villa
Correct Score Odds
13/2 West Brom 1-0
7/1 West Brom 2-0
15/2 West Brom 2-1
8/1 Draw 0-0
13/2 Draw 1-1
16/1 Draw 2-2
11/1 Aston Villa 1-0
20/1 Aston Villa 2-0
14/1 Aston Villa 2-1
First Goalscorer Odds
4/1 Romelu Lukaku
4/1 Shane Long
11/2 Peter Odemwingie
6/1 Christian Benteke
6/1 Darren Bent
7/1 Markus Rosenberg
7/1 Marc-Antoine Fortune
8/1 Andreas Weimann
8/1 No Goalscorer
9/1 Gabriel Agbonlahor
9/1 James Morrison
10/1 Jordan Bowery
Odds supplied by Ladbrokes.com, who offer live in-play betting for all Premier League matches.
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