Aston Villa have it all to do ahead of the second leg of their Capital One Cup semi-final with Bradford at Villa Park on Tuesday evening. The Premier League side find themselves 3-1 down from the first leg and in real danger of being the latest top-flight club to be knocked out of this competition by the League Two 'giant killers'.
The Bantams were brilliant in the first match and thoroughly deserved their win, with Bet 365 making them 8/11 odds on favourites to qualify for their first Wembley final in 16 years. Villa meanwhile are 11/10 to qualify and they have little choice but to attack from the off this week. Paul Lambert's side are 4/11 odds on to win the match in 90 minutes but can they turn around this 3-1 deficit?
Villa look to have the attacking power to cause Bradford problems as Christian Benteke grabbed his 10th goal of the season in the 2-2 draw at West Brom on Saturday. The Belgian is 3/1 favourite to score first this week, while his strike partner Gabriel Agbonlahor, who has scored five goals in his last seven League Cup appearances, can be backed at 5/1 after getting on the scoresheet at the Hawthorns.
Both of Villa's goals were set up by a rejuvenated Charles N'Zogbia and the winger looked like his old self. He was at the heart of everything Villa produced in the attacking third against the Baggies and his thrusting runs could cause Bradford problems, with Bet365 offering a best price 10/1 N'Zogbia scores first and 11/4 he scores anytime.
However, Villa threw away a two-goal lead against West Brom as their flimsy defence again buckled under the weight of pressure. They have failed to keep a clean sheet in 10 matches now and find themselves languishing just a point and a place above the relegation zone.
It is those defensive weaknesses which will have Lambert pulling his hair out and Villa have now conceded the joint-most goals from set-pieces in the Premier League this term (15 with Wigan). It is no surprise that all three of Bradford's goals came from set-pieces in the first leg of this tie and the method of Tuesday's first goal to be scored with a header can be backed at 15/4 with B365.
Bradford, who are 10th in League Two, have only kept one clean sheet in 10 themselves and over 3.5 goals is available at 6/4 this week. Phil Parkinson's team boast enough of an attacking threat to cause Villa problems and he sensibly rested key players in the Football League Trophy defeat to Crewe last week, while they have had the benefit of an extra few days rest after their League Two match with Port Vale was postponed on Saturday.
It will be interesting to see how Bradford approach the match as they bid to add Villa to their list of Premier League scalps, which includes Wigan and Arsenal so far. They look capable of holding on to their first leg advantage and Villa may ultimately come up short, with Villa to win by a one-goal margin looking decent value at 5/2, which would of course mean Bradford progress to an historic finale.
Aston Villa v Bradford Form
Check the season's statistics for both Aston Villa and Bradford, plus the odds ahead of Tuesday's match.
Aston Villa v Bradford Tips
Tip #1: Aston Villa to win by one goal @ 5/2 with Bet365.
Tip #2: First goal to be scored with a header @ 15/4 with Bet365.
Tip #3: Charles N'Zogbia to score first each-way @ 10/1 with Bet365.
4/11 Aston Villa
To Qualify Betting
11/10 Aston Villa
Correct Score Odds
13/2 Aston Villa 1-0
13/2 Aston Villa 2-0
13/2 Aston Villa 2-1
16/1 Draw 0-0
17/2 Draw 1-1
18/1 Draw 2-2
20/1 Bradford 1-0
40/1 Bradford 2-0
20/1 Bradford 2-1
First Goalscorer Odds
3/1 Christian Benteke
7/2 Darren Bent
5/1 Andreas Weimann
5/1 Gabriel Agbonlahor
11/2 Graham Burke
7/1 Jordan Bowery
7/1 Brett Holman
8/1 Nahki Wells
8/1 Stephen Ireland
10/1 Charles N'Zogbia
12/1 James Hanson
12/1 Alan Connell
Odds supplied by Bet365.com, who provide live betting in-running for both Capital One Cup semi-finals this week.
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