There may still be four months of the season to go but Tuesday night's Aston Villa v Newcastle clash has the distinct look of a relegation 'six pointer'. Just one point and a place separate 17th placed Villa from Newcastle in 16th ahead of this game and a win for either at Villa Park would go a long way to arresting their respective downward spirals.
Unsurprisingly there is barely anything to choose between the two teams as Villa go in as a 17/10 chance and Newcastle are a best price 9/5 with Bet 365. Those odds for a Newcastle win look very tempting, despite their dismal efforts of late, and they can take full advantage of a Villa side that are looking increasingly like Championship material.
Paul Lambert's side sit just one point above the drop zone in the league table after a run of one win in their last nine in the Premiership. It is a woeful return from the Midlands side and they have been slashed in the latest relegation betting after another dismal week. A 2-1 win over League Two side Bradford last Tuesday wasn't enough as they crashed out of the Capital One Cup on aggregate and things got worse on Friday when they lost 2-1 in a listless display at Millwall.
The matches are coming thick and fast for a young side who are short of confidence and their defence has proven to be as effective as a chocolate kettle. They have conceded 27 goals in their last 10 matches and they seem incapable of defending set pieces. They have conceded a joint-league high 15 goals from set pieces and they again conceded goals from corners in the cup matches with Bradford and Millwall. With that in mind it could be worth a look at the 4/1 on offer with B365 for the first goal of Tuesday's match to be scored with a header.
In contrast, Newcastle have had the advantage of a weekend off heading into this game as they had already been knocked out of the FA Cup. They should be far fresher than Villa as a result and they can arrest a run of form that has seen them win just one of their last 10 and just two of their last 18 in all competitions.
Newcastle have been busy in the transfer market during January and their French imports could be in line for debuts on Tuesday. Moussa Sissoko adds steel to the midfield and could overrun Villa, while striker Yoan Gouffran, who scored 10 goals for Bordeaux this term, is 13/2 to be first goalscorer.
However, the value bet could lie with new centre back Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, who is 18/1 to score anytime, and the towering Frenchman could cause havoc when coming up from the back for set pieces, particularly when you consider Villa's habit of conceding goals from headers. Newcastle have scored six goals in their last three away league games and they are 11/8 to score over 1.5 goals on Tuesday.
Their new signings can help them to a vital win at Villa Park and relieve the pressure on Alan Pardew, while adding to the woes of Paul Lambert. The Villa manager remains favourite in the next manager to be sacked betting and it is tough to see his side improving on a run of just one win in their last nine home games.
Aston Villa v Newcastle Form
Check the season's statistics for both Aston Villa and Newcastle, plus the odds ahead of Tuesday's match.
Aston Villa v Newcastle Tips
Tip #1: Newcastle win @ 9/5 with Bet365.
Tip #2: First goal to be scored with a header @ 4/1 with Bet365.
Tip #3: Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa to score anytime @ 18/1 with Bet365.
17/10 Aston Villa
Correct Score Odds
8/1 Aston Villa 1-0
12/1 Aston Villa 2-0
17/2 Aston Villa 2-1
10/1 Draw 0-0
5/1 Draw 1-1
11/1 Draw 2-2
17/2 Newcastle 1-0
12/1 Newcastle 2-0
9/1 Newcastle 2-1
First Goalscorer Odds
9/2 Christian Benteke
5/1 Papiss Cisse
11/2 Darren Bent
13/2 Yoan Gouffran
13/2 Shola Ameobi
15/2 Andreas Weimann
15/2 Gabriel Agbonlahor
8/1 Graham Burke
9/1 Sammy Ameobi
10/1 No Goalscorer
10/1 Brett Holman
10/1 Jordan Bowery
Odds supplied by Bet365.com, who offer live in-play betting for all Premier League matches.
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