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Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Aston Villa v Sheffield United Betting Tips: Back Blades to win by the usual method

Aston Villa v Sheffield United Betting Tips: Back Blades to win by the usual method

It's the first Premier League match of the restarted season and it's one likely to end in a tight win for the visitors, says Jamie Pacheco...

Aston Villa v Sheffield United
Wednesday 18:00
Live on Sky Sports Premier League

All eyes on Grealish

The break may just have been the best thing to have happened to Aston Villa. 19th place with just Norwich beneath them, a goal difference of -22 and no wins in their last four - that little lot spells 'relegation form' to me.
You could spend all day arguing where the main problems lie but in a nutshell: they're not scoring enough and they're conceding too many. Yes, that's straight out of Captain Obvious' manual but consider that only three Villa players have four or more goals and that they haven't kept a clean sheet in nine matches. In other words, it's obvious but it's true.
The break can only have done them good but if they're to save their season, it may come down to how well Jack Grealish performs. He was in the news for the wrong reasons during Lockdown after breaking safety guidelines but in addition to wanting to save his team from the drop, there may be a more selfish reason for him to shine. With the likes of Manchester United and Liverpool keen on him, the better he plays the more choice he'll have and the better his contract. If he does indeed leave...

Already an excellent season for the Blades

The Blades are in the opposite camp to Villa. They were flying before the break with five wins and a draw across their last six matches in four league and two FA Cup ties, so they'll be disappointed to have had to lose all that momentum.
But whatever happens from hereon in, they can be massively proud of their achievements. Favourites for the drop in August, they've proved the doubters wrong, become extremely hard to beat and may even secure a spot in the Europa League next season.
He may be in the twilight of his career but club legend Billy Sharp found some form before the league was suspended. The 34-year-old scored three in his last four after netting just the single goal before that, on the opening day of the season.

Blades can win but it promises to be tight

First things first. I don't have any more insight on the fitness of each team's players post-lockdown than anyone else (bar the coaches at those clubs). So, I won't try to second guess who might come out of this in the best shape. It's like COVID-19 never happened in that regard! Right, let's move on.
To say United hold all the trumps here is an understatement. Higher league position by a country mile, a 2-0 win in Sheffield back in December and a strong record of three wins, two draws and a loss in their last six against the Villains, backs that up.
But if the 5/4 looks a bit on the short side, they may be a better way to play it. The Blades are the masters of the single-goal win. Just as an example: all of their last three wins were just by the sole goal. It's 3/1 they do so again and that looks a far better bet.

Overs gets the nod

The fact that only Liverpool conceded fewer goals than United on their travels this season suggests the Blades keep things nice and organised at the back. And with just 16% of their away matches going over 2.5 goals this season, you could be forgiven for thinking this will be very low-scoring as well.
But maybe therein lies the opportunity, a chunky 69% of Villa's home games this season went overs and this game has a history for goals. Here are the last nine: 2-0, 3-3, 4-1, 0-1, 2-2, 1-2, 1-3, 3-0, 2-2, 3-1. That's seven that went overs and when you consider that Villa are at the point where they need to gamble more than ever before, the preference would be for 'overs' at 2.14.

Potential names for the ref's book

That man Grealish may be a decent wager to be shown a card. He has seven in the league for the season and tends to get as many as a result of his responsibilities as skipper as he does for individual misdemeanors. He's a fair-looking 13/8.
Defender Frederic Guilbert has the same seven as Grealish and is actually slightly bigger at 9/5 so I wouldn't put anyone off backing the Frenchman to have his name taken. At the same price of 9/5 you can back Sheffield's own bad boy John Fleck who also has seven cards while George Baldock (six yellows) is a tad bigger at 13/5.

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