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Burnley need points and fast, but Betfair’s Dan ‘The Betting Man’ Fitch doesn’t see any coming against an uncompromising Aston Villa side who don’t give anything away cheaply.
They both wear claret and blue, but that’s where the similarities end for Aston Villa and Burnley, who go head to head on Sunday afternoon.
While Burnley are desperately trying to hang on to their Premier League status, Villa are hunting down a place in next season’s Champions League, so Brian Laws’ side can expect no favours when they travel to Villa Park.
In fact Burnley have learned the hard way that very few clubs will do you a favour in the Premier League, when you travel away from home. They are still to record a win and have only managed a single draw from 13 away trips.
It’s hard then to see Burnley being able to change their away form against a team of Villa’s quality. Martin O’Neill’s team have the meanest defence in the Premier League, while Burnley have now gone for 9 hours without scoring an away goal.
Not that you can really say that Villa are in sparkling form right now. Villa have won only match from their last 7 Premier League outings, though in fairness to them these fixtures have included games against Arsenal (twice), Liverpool, Tottenham and Manchester United.
So the likes of Milner, Downing, Young and Agbonlahor should find it easier against a Burnley side that have played far too openly on their away travels this season. Instead of keeping it tight and picking up a few more draws, Burnley have attempted to play attacking football and paid the price.
The 38 goals conceded in just 13 away games works out at almost 3 goals per match. This points to over 2.5 goals being scored, but with Villa likely to not concede and not boasting the most potent attack I think the 2.1 available for under 2.5 goals is better value than the 1.89 available for overs.
Burnley will be without their captain Steven Caldwell, but should welcome back Graham Alexander to central midfield. Villa will have Agbonlahor back in the side, after he sat out their game against Crystal Palace.
Agbonlahor will lead the betting at 5.0 to score first and 1.91 to score anytime, with Milner at 8.0 and 3.2. Steven Fletcher is 11.0 to open the scoring for Burnley and 4.0 to score anytime.
Earlier in the season Burnley drew 1-1 with Villa at Turf Moor, after Heskey grabbed a late equaliser. We all know though that Burnley’s home form is no indication of what they’re capable of when asked to play away.
With the Carling Cup final next weekend and Martin O’Neill without the strength in depth to rotate his squad, I’d expect a committed performance from a Villa team all looking to secure a Wembley appearance.
Aston Villa are the resounding 1.41 favourites to win, with the draw at 4.8 and Burnley at 12.0. The odds on Villa provide pretty decent value, but if you’re looking for something more substantial then the 2.12 for the home side to be winning half time/full time may be more appealing, with the draw/Villa at 4.9.
A 1-0 Villa win is 7.8, with 2-0 the favourite in the correct score market at 6.6. With the back four marshalled by Richard Dunne in watertight form, I can’t see Burnley scoring, so backing any home win to nil makes sense, as does the 1.93 for Villa to keep a clean sheet.
Finally, with Villa’s attacks likely to be focused on their flying wingers Young and Downing, the 2.14 for 13 or more corners is the favourite in the corners market, with 10-12 at 2.8