Staying with Villa

December 9th, 2017 | Ian Carnaby's Sports News

You have to get used to last-minute goals in this game and then move on. Having said that, Sheffield Wednesday put us through the wringer last week by finally wiping out Hull’s lead at Hillsborough and going ahead with a few minutes left, only to concede in 90 + 5. They should have had a penalty into the bargain but there we are.

There are three or four bets this weekend but only to small stakes. Everyone has seen ASTON VILLA’S improvement these past few weeks and they ought to keep the run going against Millwall at Villa Park, although the visitors are tricky opponents these days and 4/5 is borderline value. Albert Adomah is in such cracking form it’s tempting to back him to be first scorer again but the run has to end somewhere.

I thought West Ham played with tremendous spirit against Manchester City and I wouldn’t take a short price about Chelsea brushing them aside in the lunchtime game on Saturday. The only bankers are Tottenham to beat Stoke but I don’t play or advise at 2/7, so no bet.

On the other hand, NEWCASTLE are worth a small wager at 7/4 to beat Leicester. I admit to being surprised by the start Claude Puel has made at the Kingpower and there is no doubt he is more animated in the technical area than he was at Southampton.

But Newcastle are better than their poor recent run suggests and I always give them a close look at home, especially at 7/4 against a team probably not markedly superior. Experts continue to undervalue home advantage in matches between fairly evenly-matched teams.

Southampton and Arsenal are not evenly matched because there is a gap in class – not that it helped the Gunners a couple of years ago when the Saints thumped them 4-0. Time and again Southampton start well and create chances without taking them. I am not swayed by the 4-1 victory over a poor Everton team a fortnight ago but the teamwork at Man City was impressive and Charlie Austin, not a man for blind-side runs and the subtle working of the channels, at least knows where the goal is and looks in form.

It’s all about value and I’d make the home team 5/2 tops with Arsenal a shade of odds-on – not the 3/1 and even money doing the rounds. It will be closer than people think.

ASTON VILLA 20 units at 4/5 to beat Millwall

NEWCASTLE 10 units at 7/4 to beat Leicester

SOUTHAMPTON 10 units at 3/1+ to beat Arsenal