Both of last season’s derby clashes between Wolves and Aston Villa ended in stalemate and it’s easy to see today’s clash between the pair at Molineux following suit.
The two sides have been fairly solid and resilient in all of their matches save for Villa’s 6-0 thumping at Newcastle and as Wolves’ home advantage is offset by the fact that Gerard Houllier will take charge of the visitors for the first time in the Premiership; the pair could be set to cancel each other out; a result Totesport rate at an eye catching 12/5.
Even the odds look evenly matched with Villa only tentative favourites at 13/8 with Betdaq and the hosts hardly any bigger at 15/8 (bet365) so a repeat of the 1-1 draw from the corresponding fixture last year is arguably the most enticing correct score wager at 6/1 with William Hill.
With barely a cigarette paper’s width between the two, the match could take a while to get going and Victor Chandler offer 8/5 for it to be goalless at the interval. For the more ambitious Betfred quote 4/1 for both halves to finish all square and with defences potentially dominant a strong case can be made for the 3/4 marked by Jaxx.com against a match total of fewer than 2.5 goals.
Hoping to ensure it’s a higher-scoring encounter is Wolves’ Steven Fletcher, who is certain to be well backed by home supporters at 6/1 (Paddy Power) to break the deadlock. At the other end meanwhile, Gabriel Agbonlahor is considered the biggest threat for Villa; he’s 11/2 at Totesport to notch first. Either way, it seems likely that the opener will arrive after the 28th minute; a bet on offer with Ladbrokes at 9/10.
Bolton have managed just three goals against Manchester United in their last eight meetings, a record which might point some towards Gamebookers’ 6/4 for Sir Alex Ferguson’s charges to win without conceding this afternoon at the Reebok Stadium.
However, given the uncharacteristic defensive vulnerability demonstrated by the visitors so far this term, a strong case can be made for William Hill’s 10/11 chalked against both teams finding the net even though Fergie’s troops, at 8/15 (Stan James), should edge it.
Newcastle’s victory at Everton last week was the perfect response to the Magpies’ home reverse against Blackpool and bookies fancy Chris Hughton’s charges to build on that Goodison Park result by seeing off Stoke in another televised contest at St James’ Park.
Jaxx.com rate the home side at even money to make it back-to-back wins but their Blackpool result strips appeal from that price a touch and the Potters’ resilience means that at 5/2 courtesy of Stan James, the draw is the eye catching flutter.
Nevertheless, given Stoke’s power and physical presence, Andy Carroll’s strength could be key for the Magpies and he’s a tasty 7/5 at Paddy Power to find the net at any time.
Sunday 26 September 2010