Villa can keep unbeaten home record in tact

ASTON VILLA vs ARSENAL
TOMORROW, 12.45PM, SKY SPORTS

FOLLOWING another away defeat at Blackburn last weekend, Aston Villa find themselves in 13th place in the table and just three points above the relegation places. In fairness, that doesn’t tell the whole story as they really should have beaten Manchester United and Fulham, but ended up with just two points from those games.

Gerard Houllier’s side have performed much better at Villa Park this season and are one of only three teams in the top flight yet to taste defeat at home. They also have a solid record against the Big Four in the West Midlands recently, taking a point in seven of their last 10 such games, while they have lost just one of their last five matches against Arsenal home and away.

It has not been a good week for the Gunners after they let a two-goal lead slip against Tottenham last Saturday. That was a real body blow for this young side and they conceded two late goals against Braga on Tuesday to put a serious dent in their Champions League aspirations.

Arsene Wenger will be hoping his side can pick themselves up, but they’ll have to do so without captain Cesc Fabregas and defender Emmanuel Eboue who both picked up injuries in Portugal. The manager will be desperate to avoid another defeat and although Villa have been unlucky in some games this season, the draw looks the most likely result at 23/10 with Paddy Power.

Both teams have scored in eight of Villa’s 14 home games and in six of nine hosting top-eight sides since the start of last season. Both sides have also found the net in 10 of Arsenal’s last 13 away matches and in all of their last seven trips to teams in 10th-16th spot in the table. The 1-1 scoreline looks the most likely result and that can be backed at 6/1 on Betdaq, while spread bettors are also advised to sell goals at 2.6 with Sporting Index.

POINTERS...
Draw at 23/10 with Paddy Power
1-1 correct scoreline at 6/1 on Betdaq
Sell match goals at 2.6 with Sporting Index

TOTTENHAM vs LIVERPOOL
SUNDAY, 4PM, SKY SPORTS

TOTTENHAM’S week has been every bit as good as Arsenal’s has been bad. Things were not looking good for Harry Redknapp when his side were trailing 2-0 at the Emirates after being comprehensively out played. However, they produced a brilliant second half performance and deserved to win in the end.

Spurs then comfortably beat Werder Bremen on Wednesday night to guarantee their spot in the last 16 of the Champions League and welcome Liverpool to White Hart Lane on Sunday. A slight concern for Redknapp is that his side have only won three of their seven home league games this season, although they have only lost once.

The most telling statistic from Bettorlogic.com is that Spurs have been level at the interval in five of those seven games. They’ve also drawn the first half in seven of their last 12 home games against teams who finished between third and ninth the previous season.

Liverpool got back to winning ways at home against West Ham last weekend, but the Hammers were simply appalling. The Reds’ away form still leaves a lot to be desired, picking up only five points from a possible 21 this campaign. However, they have been tied at half-time in 17 of their 26 away games since the start of last season and in five of six visits to top-six teams.

The main bet is the half-time draw at 6/5 with bet365 but, with Spurs playing so well at the moment, I’d also be tempted to back the draw / Tottenham double result at 4/1 with Paddy Power.

POINTERS...
HT draw at 6/5 with bet365
Draw / Tottenham at 4/1 with Paddy Power