Football tips: Aston Villa can secure vital draw in Premier League survival battle at West Ham

Aston Villa face West Ham on Sunday with a chance to secure their Premier League status for another year.


Here it is, the end of a long drawn out but fascinating season where we had a title race up until Christmas and a relegation battle that kept us intrigued all the way through.

Bournemouth really struggled all season and need a win at Everton and for both Watford and Villa to lose. Paddy’s not convinced they’ve got any chance – having priced them up at 1/40 to go down!

Watford had a good bit of momentum and new manager bounce when Nigel Pearson took charge in December. They only lost 1 of the first 8 matches after he took over but have since drifted back. They head to Arsenal hoping for a win and for Villa to drop points.

To make matters worse for the Hornets, they’ve only won two away games all season… to Bournemouth and Norwich!

Villa have somehow dragged themselves from the point of no return to give themselves a fighting chance. The owners will not be pleased having forked out over £100 million in transfers this season, only for their team to fail to perform all year. Villa will be safe with a win no matter what and even if all 3 sides were to lose on Sunday they would still be safe. When they visit West Ham on Sunday it will be a case of must not lose with a strong ear on proceedings across London at the Emirates.

Dean Smith can count himself fortunate to be playing a team in West Ham who have guaranteed safety with that draw at Man Utd in midweek. Even if no points were collected it would have still needed a huge goal swing on the final day for the Hammers to be even part of the relegation conversation.

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It could be a case of no pressure and no motivation for the Hammers who will want to keep injuries at bay in preparation for the new season. 

Villa are priced up short for this one, which is semi understandable given the points below. The problem is that they have only above. 2 teams away from home this year and one was the hapless Canaries. It doesn’t make for good reading either when we examine’s xG table. The Villains have collected 4.95 points less than they should’ve and scored 2.29 less goals than they should’ve. Small margins, but every goal and every point will be massive come Sunday evening. West Ham have disappointed for most of the season, although the plethora of attacking talent at Moyes’ disposal have banged in the goals, and they’re a top ten team for offence which is commendable. 

It’s just that backline who have been shipping goals which is the reason they are down where they are. West Ham have won only 6 of 18 home matches (3 wins coming against the current bottom 3) and have been on the receiving end of regular hidings against teams with a bit of class. How much class Villa have and are capable of showing in such a pressurised environment is a question I have doubts about.

Like I alluded to earlier, it will be a nervy must-not-lose game for the away team and the odds of a win do not interest me at all. Villa haven’t kept a clean sheet away from home this season and should they go ahead will be so nervous in trying to grind out the win that mistakes and sitting back will encourage a free-spirited West Ham team on. The Irons have conceded in 83% of their home matches and in each of their last 8 home games. The reverse fixture was a goalless stalemate earlier on in the season and with Villa’s poor performances away and all season, I can’t justify tipping them to win.

With all that in mind lets take a look at a few bets…

Result: Draw

Villa have only won twice all season away from home. In what is a must-not-lose scenario, expect a cagey opening. I think there is some value in a bet that clicked earlier this season. Remember Deeney questioned Arsenal’s Cojones a few seasons back? Well, those players will want revenge, and what better way to do that then to bang a few goals past the Hornets and send them down. 

Highest scoring half – Second

Should Deeney’s men shock the Emirates, Villa will have to come out in the second half to try and secure a win.

Correct score – 1-1

With Arsenal being favourites to win I feel the Draw will suit the away favourites.

Both teams to score – Yes 

Goals are expected for two teams who just can’t keep them out. 

Should it be 1-1 a piece going into the latter part of the game expect both teams to be happy. West Ham can finish the season not suffering the embarrassment of another defeat and Villa stay up!

Tips for Sunday’s Premier League finale

Match result: Draw
Highest scoring half: Second
Correct score: 1-1
Both teams to score: Yes

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What do you think?