Ever-improving Aston Villa bring a caravan of goals to Old Trafford
Coral may have put Manchester United up as white-hot 1/4 jollies for Monday evening’s clash with Aston Villa under the Old Trafford lights, but the Red’s form has been more lukewarm of late notching just one win by more than a single goal in their last eight games. However Villa’s tendency to get drawn into slug-fests away from home makes over 3.5 goals in the game the more appealing wager at four times the price.
At first glance 1/4 about Man United looks an insult of a price given the level of improvement Villa have shown since going down 3-2 to United at Villa Park back in November, but far better Villa sides have failed to win at Old Trafford in the past. The 1-0 success Gabby Agbonlahor’s strike earned a side including Ashley Young, James Milner, Stillian Petrov and Stewart Downing back in 2009 remains Villa’s sole victory at the stadium in their last 40 visits in all competitions.
However, Villa aren’t the only side to have improved since that clash, with the habit of first half-hole-digging that yielded the second-city club an advantage in the sides’ November meeting largely eliminated since then.
An anxiety inducing trend that Villa have failed to shake off is their allergy to away clean sheets, with just one road shutout to show for 19 games in 2012/13. Since the 8-0 Stamford Bridge hammering which served as their nadir, they have however added some goals of their own to the mix, with all eight of their subsequent away outings tipping the 2.5 goals scale and five of those games containing more than 3.5 net-bulgers.
Villa have been denied a goal in just one of their last 19 games in all competitions and Coral go 8/11 about teams to score.
Ultimately this fixture represents the easiest of United’s remaining five games, with Arsenal – for whom Jack Wilshere has already issued a rallying call not to let the Red Devils win the league at the Emirates – and Chelsea next up. They still require six points to guarantee the title and the mere daydream of Sir Alex Ferguson’s fury at passing up such an opportunity should ensure United turn in three-point gleaning performance.