You might have thought that the Blackburn owners would have learnt their lesson when it came to attempting some ‘big name’ signings, with the attempted capture of Ronaldinho and David Beckham ended in failure last season.
However, it appears that Venky’s are now chasing down the signature of Raul, with the Spaniard on the books at Schalke right now and perhaps not the sort of player required for a Premier League relegation scrap – something which looks pretty likely after losing at home to Wolves on Saturday.
Steve Kean’s side now travel to the Midlands on Saturday hoping to pick up their first points of the season and Boylesports are prepared to lay 5/1 about an away win, with the visitors struggling for numbers in defence. They have barely reinvested any of the money received from Manchester United for Phil Jones and their task looks a tall one.
Even so, Aston Villa are currently in the rebuilding process under Alex McLeish and it will be a strange atmosphere for the team’s first home game of the campaign, with many supporters naturally opposed to the former Birmingham manager being installed as the replacement for Gerard Houllier.
McLeish has acknowledged that a good start is important in his quest to get the supporters onside and the bookmakers offer 8/11 (Ladbrokes – £50 free bets) that the Villans make it four points from their opening two games, having held Fulham to a goalless draw last Saturday.
A lot of hope rests on the shoulders of Darren Bent, the club’s £18 million signing last January who scored some important goals for the Midlands side last season and he can be backed at 4/1 (Coral – £25 free betting) to get his team off the mark in this clash. Charles N’Zogbia makes his home debut and the Frenchman is 8/1 to open the scoring.