EPL betting: Saints to profit from Villa’s embarrassing decline

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Updated: April 23, 2016

EPL featured betting preview: Aston Villa (3-7-24, 16 pts) v Southampton (14-9-11, 51 pts), Villa Park, Birmingham, England; Sunday, April 24, 12am – for the latest EPL standings, click here

 

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Aston Villa owner Randy Lerner has accepted the blame for the club’s relegation from the Premier League. The American, who rarely attends games, has been under fire from fans during Villa’s slide down the table over the past five years. Villa were officially relegated from the Premier League after last week’s 1-0 defeat at Manchester United.

Lerner said in a written statement on the club’s official website: “I write to Villa supporters to make clear that this relegation lies at my feet and no one else’s. I will continue to try to put the club into worthy hands as I have, and also do my best to position Villa for the quickest possible return to its rightful place among England’s elite.”

Villa had been one of seven clubs to remain in the Premier League since its inception in 1992-93, having last been relegated from English football’s top flight in 1987 and returning immediately after a season in the second tier. To compound their problems, Villa have suspended striker Gabriel Agbonlahor following reports of his behaviour after the loss. The 29-year-old forward was pictured in The Sun newspaper with what looked like nitrous oxide canisters at a London hotel. Good times.

 

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The Villans are two matches beyond their previous worst run of form in the Premier League era (nine) and still need four points to pass 2009-10 Portsmouth’s 19 for the worst total since 2007-08 Derby County’s 11 marked the worst season in Premier League history. That Derby County team were also the last side to lose 25 top-flight matches in a season.

While Villa started hinting at this fall in recent seasons, Southampton have trended the other way. The Saints finished a club-best seventh last season on 60 points and are there again on 51 points with four matches to continue the upward trajectory. But with next weekend’s trip to Manchester City followed by a visit from title hopefuls Tottenham, now’s the time to secure three of those necessary points.

Ronald Koeman’s club clawed back to split the points in Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Everton on Sadio Mane’s 76th-minute equaliser. But they’ve lost only once in their past six (3-2-1) and are 8-3-3 with 11 goals conceded dating to a 2-0 win over Watford on January 13. The clubs drew 1-1 on December 5 at St Mary’s Stadium after the Saints had eliminated Villa from the League Cup 2-1 on October 28, also at home.

 

 

Confirmed betting (card finalised)

Aston Villa v Southampton +2.5 (one unit @ $2.05)
Manchester City (to nil) v Stoke City (one unit @ $1.90)

 

Today’s other games

Bournemouth v Chelsea
Liverpool v Newcastle United

 

Most recent results: 1-0-2, -0.25 units; overall results: 60-5-58, +22.37 units

Newcastle United v Swansea City WIN (one unit @ $3.20) LOSE (3-0)
Manchester United -2hcp v Aston Villa (one unit @ $3.00) LOSE (1-0)
West Bromwich Albion v Watford -1.5 (one unit @ $2.75) WIN (0-1)

• Selections are listed in three categories – 1) Suggested (likely bet but yet to be finalised); 2) Confirmed (locked in at the price listed); and 3) Leans (tips, but not recommended bets); all times quoted are Australian Eastern Daylight Time (AEDT); prices with thanks to Bet365 (except where markets are not available), correct at time of publication. Results/comments on today’s games/races will follow in the next post.

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