Villa v Sheffield United most informative

December 22nd, 2017 | Ian Carnaby's Sports News

We showed a 26 points’ profit last week, thanks to Everton and Cardiff. The minor punt on Bournemouth against Liverpool was shot to pieces but I don’t regret that. Eddie Howe’s players are better than they showed there and were rather unfortunate at Chelsea just three days later.

No one will tip them at Manchester City, for obvious reasons, but I believe it will be closer than the odds suggest. City’s run has to end sometime and people are starting to take quite a lot for granted, especially with games taking place every few days. If you decide to go with a possible shock, you want the best price about Bournemouth with the draw working for you.

Bristol City were excellent against Manchester United the other night and have been playing well for a long time. That doesn’t make them good things at QPR, a game where I’d be very careful and merely look on. It’s worth remembering that when City won 1-0 at Sheffield United the other day, the hosts had a man sent off and hit the woodwork four times.

The Blades have been through a rough spell but have an excellent manager and their lofty position is well deserved. Sometimes it can be a good thing to get rid of a poor spell before Christmas and they may well be in contention for a play-off place.
Villa away is a good test for them and an attractive looking game for the television cameras. Both teams are upwardly mobile and both can score goals; I’m with a scoring draw to modest stakes.

Southampton defended well at Chelsea. They were flattered by the 1-0 defeat but went some way towards banishing the memory of a poor home display against Leicester. Watching that game closely at pitch level (and admiring the genius of Willian – what a player) I wondered if doing without Van Dijk and Tadic – both spent plenty of time warming up, neither got on – is central to Pellegrino’s longer-term plans.

He has a problem because Tadic, a luxury item in my view, can look dangerous for half-an-hour or so and Huddersfield at home is exactly the sort of match where he might set up a goal or two. The Terriers have done well so far but would not be able to repel a Southampton side starting in its usual fashion at St Mary’s. I don’t think the Saints will go down, but with away games at Man United and Tottenham imminent, the table may look worrying by early January. In other words, they have to win on Saturday; I think they will, possibly a few into the bargain, and not before time.

Aston Villa v Sheffield United 10 units THE DRAW at 5/2
BOURNEMOUTH 10 units to avoid defeat at Manchester City
SOUTHAMPTON 30 units at 4/6 to beat Huddersfield