Midlands men Aston Villa and Leicester City both hoping for magic
Premier League strugglers Aston Villa, Burnley, Leicester City and QPR prepare for a crucial round of fixtures, knowing it is essential to take points from fellow trap door favourites.
Burnley v Aston Villa
Visitors Villa appear to be in turmoil following assistant coach Roy Keane’s abrupt exit and a worrying run of eight games without a win.
However, after, stealing a point last time out against high-flyers Southampton, the Villans are 11/5 to end on even terms with Burnley, who have finally managed to lift themselves off the bottom of the league.
The Clarets have enjoyed two victories on the trot, with their triumphs against Stoke City and Hull City making them 11/10 favourites to claim a third successive scalp of the season.
England Under-21 star Danny Ings ensured Burnley took all the plaudits by bagging a brace last time out, and is 9/2 to draw first blood again.
It’s not all doom and gloom for Villa, however, as the Midlands men have won three of their last four clashes against the Clarets.
Paul Lambert’s boys are 11/4 to claim Burnley’s scalp on their travels and will be aiming to exploit the home side on the counter, where they certainly possess the quality to capitalise.
The Villans are still two points above the drop zone thanks to their fantastic early form at the beginning of this campaign, but the home team will be keen to keep momentum rolling.
This should give the likes of Gabriel Agbonlahor (15/8 to grab a goal anytime), who struck last time out and Andreas Wiemann (also 15/8) the chance to test Burnley’s backline.
QPR V Leicester City
Harry Redknapp’s Hoops are currently propping up the Premier League table but know a home win could see them leapfrog relegation rivals Leicester and put pressure on Hull City.
The Foxes have won just once away from the safety of the King Power Stadium this season, making fellow strugglers QPR 5/4 favourites to take advantage of Leicester’s home sickness and ensure a vital three points.
Seven matches without a win means Nigel Pearson is under pressure, and must put his faith in misfiring forwards Leonardo Ulloa (6/4 to grab a goal anytime) and Jamie Vardy, who have stalled after a dazzling to the season.
Lacklustre Leicester’s attack has failed to be on target for the last five games, however, so Pearson may be tempted to throw loan starlet Nick Powell in at the deep end in attempt to stop the drought. The Manchester United man is 10/3 to score anytime.
Inconsistent QPR, meanwhile, have shown that despite their status as bottom-dwellers, they do have the spirit to secure results against the likes of Manchester City. In-form frontman Charlie Austin will be the Londoner’s most potent threat, after netting four in his last four, and is 4/1 to fire home first.