Swansea v Aston Villa – Liberty Stadium at 17:30 live on Sky Sports 1
A real treat in store for neutrals this Saturday evening as relegation threatened Swansea City, host the doomed Aston Villa, in what could be a pretty awful 90 minutes that none of us are ever going to get back.
However, I am sure we would all enjoy making some profit from this terrible looking fixture.
To be fair, that introduction is a little harsh on the home side and despite Swansea not having a good season so far, they have at least shown some signs of life in 2016. Their Premier League record this year reads, P11 W4 D2 L5 GF14 GA16 and although that is clearly not great, it is a definite improvement on their form at the tail end of last year.
That run of results does include impressive victories over Watford, Everton and Arsenal, plus they were unlucky not to get more from their games against Southampton, Manchester United and Tottenham.
So, their performances and results have both been on an upward trajectory this year and a home match against Villa, is the perfect opportunity to build on that trend and take a big step towards Premier League safety at the same time.
When facing teams from the bottom half of the table, at the Liberty Stadium, the Swans have shown that they are at least as good as, if not better than their opponents. With their record of P8 W4 D3 L1 GF10 GA7 against these sides, they should be confident of claiming all three points on Saturday evening.
As mentioned at the start of this preview, their opponents this weekend Aston Villa, are already doomed to relegation from the Premier League this season. Although, mathematically they can still survive, the gap of nine points to Sunderland in 17th place is well beyond their capabilities with just eight games left.
Villa have won just three times this season and despite finally showing some kind of improvement earlier this year, when they won two, drew two and lost one of five fixtures in late January/early February. They have since lost five games in a row and only managed to score two goals across those five defeats.
The only real positive for Villa fans coming into this match is that, they have performed better against the teams in and around them at the bottom of the table. Both those recent wins in 2016, came against teams in the bottom six, but they were both at Villa Park.
Away from home Remi Garde’s team have been a joke all season long, with just one win and three draws in their 15 road trips, Villa fans are understandably sick and tired of following their team around the country.
Finally, neither of these sides are good at scoring goals, Swansea have notched just 14 goals at the Liberty this season and have failed to score in 40% of their home games. Meanwhile, Villa have only mustered 11 away goals during their campaign so far and also, failed to score in 40% of their away games.
There are a number of betting angles we could take in this match, but looking at the markets the best value option is to back Under 2.25 Goals. Swansea have scored just five in their last five home games and will be missing Andrew Ayew, who is out with an ankle injury.
Villa have scored just two goals in their last five away games and while their defence is far from solid, we already know that the Swans are unlikely to punish anyone with their attacking play.
I would not put anyone off backing Swansea to win this match, but the better value bet is definitely the Unders which, also wins should the game end in a goal less draw, unlike the Swansea bet.
Asian Handicap Recommendation: Under 2.25 Goals at 1.97
Prices correct at the time of writing.
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