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Nic Ladds 16th Oct 2009 - 14:21

Villa and Chelsea to buck the trend with a stalemate

Those who are rushing to take the odds of 4/5 on offer about Chelsea to beat 18/5 chances Aston Villa should be aware that this is certainly no forgone conclusion.

Last season was the first time in 10 attempts that the Blues had won at Villa Park and Carlo Ancelotti will no doubt be aware of how dangerous Villa can be, just ask Liverpool.

With six of these 10 matches finishing as draws you wouldn't be mad to think the 12/5 on offer about a stalemate looks a good price.

Goals could be on the menu with both teams having pacey attacks and 1-1 or 2-2 at 11/2 and 12/1 respectively look fair, while an audacious but infamous 4-4 score line is 100/1, a score that Villa fans will remember well as they conceded late to draw 4-4 with Tottenham two seasons ago.

Until a last minute loss against Blackburn two games ago, the Villans had started to look the part with six wins in a row in all competitions including a 3-1 victory at Anfield, and a large part of this is due to Gabriel Agbonlahor's form with five goals in his last six games, and surely buoyed by his start in an England shirt midweek, the front man is 15/2 to score first or 9/4 to score anytime.

With able support provided by Ashley Young and James Milner (both 11/1 to score), Villa can cause Chelsea problems, and as the Blues loss to Wigan showed, they are not invincible.

Nicolas Anelka appears to be finally coming in to form having scored in his last two games and the fact that he has scored in his last three games against Villa, suggest the target man could be dangerous at 5/1 to open the scoring or 5/4 for anytime, with Didier Drogba available at the same prices.

An interesting bet to keep you gripped right up until the final whistle could be Florent Malouda to score last at 11/1 as the Frenchman has found the net very late on a couple of times this season and is bound to be introduced as the match wears on.

Martin O'Neill will be aware of Villa's poor record against 'top 4 teams, having won just one of their last 21 home games against these teams, while Chelsea have scored in 13 consecutive league matches, a run they will not wish to stop and the 10/3 about a home clean sheet doesn't look too appealing, but a bet on Chelsea to score in both halves could be worth an investment at 7/4.

The feeling here is that this game can buck the while Premier League trend and end in a draw, with Richard Dunne marshalling the defence in a way that Villa so missed when Martin Laursen retired, that they can keep the Blues at bay for a while at least and Chelsea/draw or draw/draw in the double result market at 14/1 and 19/5 respectively both warrant looking at.

If the Blues are to win then 2-1 at 13/2 or even 3-2 at 25/1 look in the right region while a 2-1 win to the home side is available at a big 12/1.

Villa have proved themselves no mugs this term and while they may not quite have the good to beat a rampaging Chelsea, they are good enough to hold them to a scoring draw.

Draw - 12/5

Chelsea/draw - 14/1


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