Market: Aston Villa win
Odds: 6/5 @ Bet 365
With the chance to move within touching distance of the playoff positions, Aston Villa will host a struggling Middlesbrough side on Saturday afternoon.
Starting with the hosts, coming off the back of a 3-1 win away at fellow playoff hopefuls Nottingham Forest in midweek, Aston Villa really appear to have re-found their form at the business end of the season. With Dean Smith’s side also boosted by their 1-0 victory over bitter-rivals Birmingham last weekend, the mood in Villa’s camp couldn’t be any higher. Now enjoying a three-match winning run and yet to taste defeat over the past month, another victory on Saturday would see Saturday’s hosts sitting just one-point adrift of the playoff positions. Given Boro’s recent struggles, Smith should be confident of extending their winning run.
As for the visitors, while Villa might be enjoying a purple patch at the back end of the year, the same can not be said for Tony Pulis’ side. Slumping to a 2-1 loss at home to Preston in midweek and also seeing captain Daniel Ayala sent off, the Reds hold just a three-point buffer from slipping out of the playoff positions. On a run of form that has seen them now lose their last two matches on the bounce, the former Baggies boss will be growing more concerned by his sides form on the road. Middlesbrough have recorded just a single victory on the road in their last four attempts.
Bet: Aston Villa 6/5 to beat Middlesbrough in Saturday’s Championship showdown @ Bet 365
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