Young to be the difference against Hull
Aston Villa and Hull City are both in terrible form. They both need to win tonight's live match at Villa Park for very different reasons. Hull are in freefall and need to pick up form to avoid the dreaded drop while Villa are battling Everton for fifth place.
Martin O'Neill's side are without a win in nine matches, which is their longest winless run in two years. Villa have had a very long season and quite frankly the wheels have fallen off. The players look tired and seem to be counting down the matches until the end of the season.
At one stage Villa were in serious contention for a top-four finish and a Champions League place but that must seem like a lifetime ago for Villa. As they now are struggling to hold on to fifth place, as Everton have been a team in form and following the Toffees win at Sunderland yesterday Villa now find themselves in sixth, a point behind David Moyes' side.
The one big plus for Aston Villa though is Ashley Young. The PFA Young Player of the Year has had a tremendous season and he should have far too much quality for a very ordinary Hull side.
The ex-Watford winger is a 7/1 shot to open the scoring and 2/1 to score at any point during the match. Young's pace and skill should at least provide Villa's frontline, of two of Gabriel Agbonlahor, John Carew and Emile Heskey, the opportunities to blow Hull away even if he doesn't manage to get on the scoresheet himself.
Villa may be on a long winless run, but they have drawn their last three matches and their superior quality should shine through against Hull. The home side are 8/15 favourites to win the match and this looks great value. A fourth draw in a row for Villa is priced at 14/5 with Hull to win just their second match in 19 a 11/2 shot.
If you are a little concerned about Villa's poor recent form then our double chance market should put those concerns to rest with Aston Villa or draw at 1/25. For a bit more value though draw no bet could be the answer at 4/25.
It is hard to see how Hull can leave Birmingham with the three points. They have lost their last three matches including away defeats to fellow strugglers Middlesbrough and Sunderland.
The Tigers are currently playing how everyone expected them to all season. At the start of the season Phil Brown's side carried the momentum over from last season after finishing the season in great form which culminated in their play-off final win against Bristol City.
If it weren't for Middlesbrough and Newcastle being equally as poor then Hull would be nailed-on to be relegated but as it stands Hull have a three-point advantage over both of the North East sides. City are 7/4 to finish in the bottom three, but if that happens it is more likely to depend on whether either Middlesbrough or Newcastle can start winning as Hull look in dire straits.
For the match against Villa, Hull will be without the suspended Caleb Folan after his stupid sending off against Liverpool. This will further hinder their lack of firepower. They have only managed to score two goals in their last five matches and could well struggle to keep Brad Friedel busy tonight. The most likely scorer for Hull would be ex-Rangers frontman Daniel Cousin. He should replace Folan in the side and the Gabon international is priced at 11/4 to score tonight.
With so much on the line tonight as a win for either side could restart their season, boosting morale and giving them belief for the remaining matches. You will be able to follow all the twists and turns live on Sky Sports 1 and we will be offering a wide range of in-play betting opportunities via our betlive service, right up until 90th minute.
Tonight, William Hill are offering you a fantastic bet one, get one free promotion. If you place £20 on 90 minutes market, you will get a £5 free bet on the live correct score market. For full details click here.