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Nic Ladds 29th Dec 2008 - 16:21

Hull hath no fury like Phil Brown scorned

Phil Brown will be hoping he doesn't have to give his players another public bottom spanking at half time again as they welcome the rampant Aston Villa to the KC stadium.

Following the 5-1 capitulation against Manchester City last week Hull will be hoping it was a one off and find themselves 3/1 underdogs to get back to winning ways.

Villa arrive on the back of a draw with Arsenal having been two goals down which will do wonders for an already buoyant team and odds of 19/20 seem fairly generous with the draw at 23/10.

Hull have conceded nine goals in their last two league games and only kept three clean sheets all season.

Villa meanwhile have scored two goals or more in nine of their last twelve away games.

This indicates goals galore for Villa. Hull know where the back of the net is but seem to a much more potent force away from home.

Gabriel Agbonlahor and Ashley Young both remain in hot form and at 6/1 and 15/2 respectively will have their supporters for first goal.

Gareth Barry and Steve Sidwell have also found themselves amongst the goals recently highlighting Villa's attacking threat all over the pitch.

The pair are 4/1 and 11/2 to find the back of the net at anytime during the match while Zat Knight, Villa's hero against Arsenal is 12/1 to repeat his scoring antics at anytime.

Geovanni carries a constant threat for The Tigers both from long range and dead balls.

This makes his price at a healthy 8/1 to score first appealing while strikers Marlon King and Daniel Cousin are both 6/1 to net the opening goal.

Hull have been in decline since their excellent start to the season and after their beating last week there is no reason why they will suddenly turn things around.

Until they start to put a good run together they are worth opposing and Aston Villa on the handicap looks a cracking bet, as they are 11/4 giving up one goal.

Villa score a lot of goals away from home and as the form of Hull's defence is currently questionable at best, the lightning quick pair Agbonlahor and Young could have a field day.

Aston Villa half time/full time at 11/5 looks a good bet as Martin O'Neill's side have the fire-power to trouble any team and Hull desperately need to improve at the back. Score-lines to the tune of 3-1 to Villa at 16/1 and 4-1 at 33/1 both look realistic possibilities.

As we saw at the start of the season Hull are more than capable of pulling out some decent results and have run all the big guns close this season and even beaten the likes of Arsenal and Tottenham.

Phil Brown will have read his players the riot act privately after his very public display of anger last week but no matter what he says there is a feeling an in-form Villa are just going to be too much for the Tigers.

The Villans continue to improve and if they can stop conceding so many soft goals they will continue to be right there snapping at the leaders heels for the rest of the season.

Hull are starting to look like they may fulfil their pre-season tags as relegation favourites and join in the battle for survival with the rest of the table.

Recommendation:
Aston Villa -1 goal handicap - 11/4

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