Who would have thought the Wolverhampton Wanderers would be sitting in third place at the end of August with a perfect 3-0 record? Surely not Aston Villa who were hoping Saturday’s match would be another easy win for a side that has rebounded from an opening day draw to string together two straight victories.
Date/Time: Saturday August 27 , 2011 at 7:05 AM EST
Venue: Villa Park, Birmingham, England
Aston Villa vs Wolverhampton Betting Lines
Money Line: Aston Villa (+100), Wolverhampton (+275), Draw (+230)
Game Total: Over 2.5 (-115), Under 2.5 (-115)
Odds taken from Bodog.com – one of the world’s best sports betting sites.
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After an easy triumph over bottom feeder Blackburn, the Villans followed up with a late second half win in the Carling Cup against Hereford United to secure a trip to the third round.
The Villains entire front line of Darren Bent, Emile Heskey and Gabriel Agbonlahor made it look easy against the Rovers, while Eric Lichaj and Nathan Delfouneso where called upon in the last ten minutes to eliminate the Bulls.
Now new manager Alex McLeish will hope his side of perennial underachievers can draw on last week’s win, as a step forward to a winning season, and will use his prior knowledge about the competition from his win with Birmingham City last season, to keep his team in the hunt for it first Champions League spot since joining the top flight in 1992.
Meanwhile, Wolverhampton’s 4-0 Carling Cup victory over the same Northampton side that defeated Liverpool at Anfield last season, saw them through to the third round as well.
Mick McCarthy’s side has performed well so far, defeating favorites Fulham and Blackburn, but will receive their biggest test of the season when they contend with the atmosphere of Holte End at venerable Villa Park.
While it’s too early to tell if McCarthy’s men are for real, they are playing good football, and if they can sustain their current momentum, have the best chance of winning their second in a row at Villa Park, the only lost suffered by the Villans in their last 10 Premier League games.
The Wolves will need a lot from Irish forward Kevin Doyle who always gives maximum effort, while Matt Jarvis, who scored in both games against Aston Villa last season does give the side a certain panache.
Villa fans meanwhile, will be hoping for a stand-out performance from their own high-profile acquisition, winger Charles N’Zogbia, who joined from Wigan in July but has yet to find the back of the net.
If the French midfielder can help the Clarets maintain a steady offensive attack, it could take pressure off a back line that will be without defender Carlos Cuellar who is guaranteed to miss out due to a knee injury.
The odds for a Wolves is promising, considering only one of the previous six meetings between these two has resulted in a home win.
However, punters should use caution when betting against an unpredictable Aston Villa side that is in good form and will be fueled but the intense pressure from a raucous home crowd.
Matt’s Free Prediction
In a game of two evenly matched teams, I expect both clubs to attack in an exciting match with neither finding the winning goal as they draw 2-2. Take DRAW at +230.