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Stuart Dalgleish 23rd Oct 2009 - 12:18

Villa to rule in the Midlands again

In-form Aston Villa lock horns with Wolves for the first time in five years and the omens don't look good for Mick McCarthy's side.

It's not just the results between the two sides where you can't see Wolves getting anything, it's their inability to keep a clean sheet and worrying lapses in concentration at the back that make Villa look outstanding value at 23/20 to claim all three points.

The hosts are without a win in their last four games and just aren't getting enough shots on target to trouble teams, although they were extremely close last weekend at Goodison Park with Everton equalising in the last couple of minutes of the match to deny Wolves a priceless three points.

With how Villa have been playing recently, and their threat from set pieces, Wolves' defence looks to be in for another tough afternoon - the pace and trickery of Ashley Young and Gabby Agbonlahor will cause problems all day long for Wayne Hennessey and the Welsh ace will have to be at his very best to stop Villa from scoring (13/5 Wolves to keep a clean sheet), which only Wigan have done so far and that was in the opening game of the season.

It's strange really because Villa have actually had fewer shots than any team in the league, but it goes to show that if you make the most of your chances you'll win games - and that's exactly what Martin O'Neill's team do when they play against their Midlands rivals, and more specifically against Wolves; seven in their last eight league matches to be precise, the other match finishing level.

Wolves have the opposite problem in these derby games, winning only one of six derbies in the Premier League; at odds of 12/5 we certainly don't think they'll make it two out of seven. The draw is a 23/10 shot and Villa, as mentioned earlier, look to be a great bet at 23/20.

One man who will try make the difference for the hosts is Kevin Doyle, who after initially going a few games without a goal has now struck three in his last four league games, the Irish forward is a tempting 7/1 to open the scoring, 2/1 just to get his name on the scoresheet at any point of the match.

For the Villa it's all about Agbonlahor at the minute, the big striker has got four goals in his last six PL appearances and is the clear favourite to get the ball rolling on Saturday afternoon, quoted at 9/2 to notch the first of the game, 6/5 to pounce at anytime of the 90 minutes. Richard Dunne is worth a shout as well, the Irish ace has scored in consecutive league games and is a whopping 25/1 to make it three on the spin with the first of this match, 8/1 just to grab a goal at any stage of the afternoon.

Villa have a great goalscoring record against Wolves recently with 24 in their last 13 away games in the top division, I don't think they'll enjoy the amount of goals they did in their last trip there when they won 4-0 but a 1-0 win at odds of 11/2 could prove profitable - under 2 goals in the match is a good looking bet at 2/1.

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