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Mixed midweek fortunes promise easy West Ham win over Villa

| 01.02.2016

Improving Aston Villa haven’t lost in three Premier League matches.

By the Villans’ bottom-scraping standards, it’s a dream run of form that has convinced the Ladbrokes odds bods they’ll make life hard for West Ham next.

Home advantage has entitled the Irons to favouritism in the match-betting market; they’re odds-on, but only by a fraction, with Slaven Bilic’s side available to back at 5/6.

There are big prices to be had about the other possible outcomes – it’s 10/3 for a Villa win and 12/5 available for a draw – but the fact that the visitors are 10/11 to dodge defeat on their final trip to the Boleyn Ground suggests they’re well in with a shout.

In reality, nothing could be further from the truth, with West Ham’s stellar midweek record this season promising a routine win for the east London outfit.

Three of the Hammers’ Premier League fixtures so far have fallen outside of the weekend and they’ve prevailed on each instance.

The most recent triumph was a 3-1 win at Bournemouth, which followed a 2-1 home toppling of Southampton over Christmas.

Their first Monday-Friday win of the campaign came at home to Newcastle, a cantered-to 2-0 victory.

Furthermore, in their only Capital One Cup outing of the season so far, they earned a 1-1 draw at table-topping Leicester, before losing in extra-time.

Two wins and a draw were recorded from their trio of home fixtures in an ill-fated Europa League play-off campaign, with their solo stalemate occurring following a James Collins red card.

Aston Villa, by contrast, have featured in four Premier League matches in midweek, the first three of which – against Manchester United, Tottenham and Norwich – they lost.

A recent 1-0 home win over Crystal Palace – facilitated by a comical Wayne Hennessey own goal – saw them snap a 19-match streak without victory, but the rest of the reading isn’t good.

In three League Cup clashes, they got the better of two Football League foes in Notts County and Birmingham (the former requiring extra-time) at home, though their involvement in the competition ended when they were forced to travel to a top-tier rival.

It’s a bleak forecast as far as Villa are concerned, promising an easy win for West Ham.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Alex Fortune