Aston Villa vs Fulham by Rostick
Villa is sitting comfortably on the 12th place with virtually no relegation worries, but we all know every team in the Premier League is fighting until the end for a better placement that makes a huge financial difference. The hosts have played generally well lately, posting some great wins in March, including beating Chelsea at home. However, Villa is on the back of to heavy 4-1 defeats, a disastrous performance vs. Stoke at home followed by a much better showing at United where they were unlucky to lose by that scoreline. Villa will surely be eager to bounce back and if they show the same desire and form like in Manchester (despite the loss), they could have a great chance to come out on top in this one.
What a season to forget this has been for Fulham. Despite having a pretty good squad, the visitors are dead last in the standings, 5 points from safety and with an extra game played. Fulham hired Felix Magath in February but the appointment of the german manager made little impact and the team is still playing poor, losing games. Fulham has tasted defeat in 4 of the last 5 games, including the last 2, and is conceding goals in an insane fashion – the 73 goals allowed in 32 games is a horrible, horrible stat. The visitors are on the back of a 3-1 home defeat to Everton after being dismantled 5-0 by Manchester City.
Team news & lineups
Both sides are ravaged by injuries for this one. Villa will miss Benteke, N’Zogbia, Gardner, Herd, Lozak and Okore, while Agbonlahor is a question mark. Fulham won`t be able to count on Mitroglu, Duff, Karagounis, Bent, Briggs ans Burn, while Parker is doubtful.
Aston Villa: Guzan – Baker, Vlaar, Clark, Bertrand – El Ahmadi, Westwood, Delph, Tonev – Holt, Weimann.
Fulham: Stockdale – Riether, Heitinga, Hangeland, Riise – Sidwell, Kvist – Parker, Holtby, Richardson – Dembélé.
I think Aston Villa has the required quality and form to win this game, and home court advantage should also help them – even though Villa is not particularly a great home team, Fulham is a bad road team. The injuries will hurt the hosts, especially Benteke, but Fulham is in the exact same situation so this shouln`t make a difference in the end. Also, Fulham`s atrocious defence could make up for Benteke`s absence. Villa played good gootball this season and even though they lost the last two games 8-2 aggregate, they played well at United and are in much better form than Fulham. Bottom line, Villa is the better team, in better form and plays at home. At odds over evens, surely a bet on Aston Villa to win is worth it, so this will be my tip here. Prediction: Aston Villa – Fulham 2-1.
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