Hull and Villa need to add vital goals as they vie on Humberside
Hosts Hull City (6/5 chances with Coral to be relegated) are desperately trying to escape the drop, but must find a way to score goals against visitors Aston Villa, who are also enduring somewhat of a barren spell.
Meanwhile, over on Wearside, Sunderland are aiming to avoid being sucked into a survival scrap and will be expecting to sink managerless QPR.
Hull City v Aston Villa
Paul Lambert’s lad travel to face Steve Bruce’s side in a somewhat precarious position, dangling just two points above the Premier League trap door.
The tenacious Tigers, 5/4 to triumph and 23/10 to win to nil against the Villans, will be defending their home turf after securing a morale boosting draw against Manchester City.
Hoping to be heroes on Humberside, Bruce’s boys must breach Villa’s backline, as the key to this contest will be whether or not Hull can finish their chances.
The home team are one of the lowest scoring sides in the league this campaign, joint-second with basement battlers Leicester City on 21 strikes.
Ireland international David Meyler’s goal against City ended a run of three games where the Tigers missed the target. Back the midfielder at 8/1 to thrill home fans this time around and grab a goal anytime.
New striker signing Dame N’Doye is also available at 15/8 in the same market and help Hull become more potent up top.
Villa, meanwhile, may currently sit two places above the relegation zone, but one victory in their last 10 league battles suggests they are far from safe.
In a boost for Paul Lambert’s team, however, the Villans have not been defeated in their last 10 tussles with the Tigers, making them 5/2 chances to win.
If the Midlands men are to take all three points this time out, they must illustrate greater attacking threat in front of net.
A return of 12 Premier League goals in 24 games is poor by any standard and, as Villa have failed to notch up more than two strikes in any games this term, it’s time for top forward Christian Benteke (11/2 to draw first blood) to step up.
The Belgium battler has been in poor form since his return form a long injury lay-off and will need the support of fellow forward Gabriel Agbonlahor and Andreas Weimann, who are 8/1 to close the scoring and 2/1 in the anytime market respectively.
New signing Carles Gil has shown promising signs of bringing more urgency to Aston Villa’s attack, and impressed last time out against Chelsea, which makes him 8/1 to score first.
Sunderland v QPR
Sunderland welcome calamitous QPR to the stadium of light, where they are odds-on at 19/20 to taste victory in front of their home fans.
Winter window recruit Jermain Defoe may prove to be the difference after opting for the Black Cats over the Hoops. The English attacker is 9/2 to open the scoring, after striking twice in his last two games, and make QPR rue missing out on his services.
Defoe’s fellow frontman Steven Fletcher, meanwhile, 5/1 to hit home the final goal, but QPR will have to hope Chile attacker Eduardo Vargas can step up in sharpshooter Charlie Austin’s absence.
Vargas is 10/3 to channel his World Cup magic and get on the scoresheet anytime, whilst mercurial loanee Mauro Zarate is 9/1 to net last.