Fri, Feb 25, 1:19pm by Kevin Pitstock
This game features two sides where the first aim is not to get dragged into the grim and ugly struggle to avoid relegation. Blackpool’s win over Spurs in midweek has put pressure on them. Villa are just three points above the relegation zone. It doesn’t look that much better for Blackburn, who are sitting 12th, but who have just five points to spare over the bottom three. Will fear overcome the desire to play positively and get three points which would be such a lift for both of these clubs?
ASTON VILLA PREVIEW
People might have muttered that Darren Bent was overpriced at £18million, but his arrival has certainly helped what was a wobbly looking Villa side start to string together some results and some consistent performances. It’s just one defeat in six matches since he joined, and that was a forgivable loss away at Manchester United. Bent’s also earned a scoring start with England to boost his confidence. The one game he missed in that six run sequence was in the FA Cup, where he couldn’t play in Villa’s 3-1 win over Blackburn Rovers. Both sides were pretty strong in that game, and Gerard Houllier’s side were in control of the match by half-time. Villa can add Bent to the mix this time as they come off back-to-back draws with Fulham and Blackpool. Defender Carlos Cuellar has been ruled out through injury.
BLACKBURN ROVERS PREVIEW
This looks like it could be a key period for Rovers, who have Fulham and Blackpool in their next two fixtures. If they are beaten at Villa Park, then it might get all rather hairy for the run in. Rovers are without a win in four games since a win over the very out of form West Bromwich Albion. That run does include the FA Cup defeat by Villa and a pretty sterile 0-0 draw with Newcastle at home in their last game. Steve Kean’s side, in fact, have lost their last four matches on the road. They generally struggle away, with 10 points collected away, though some of that could be put down to the fairly defensive style former manager Sam Allardyce used to adopt. They’ve also admitted that striker Roque Santa Cruz does need more match time to show his best form.
ASTON VILLA v BLACKBURN ROVERS BEST BET AND PREDICTION
The recent FA Cup win and general form points strongly to an Aston Villa home win. That is priced up at $1.77 with Centrebet and looks a solid bet. We like a 2-0 win for Villa if you are a correct score fan.
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