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Swansea were tipped by many as near-certainties for relegation and whilst that may conceivably still happen, a win on Sunday would see them move ahead of Villa and perhaps into eighth place.
Swansea have done far better than most expected and that has largely been the result of their magnificent defensive record at home. They have conceded just two goals in six games at the Liberty, one to Manchester United in their only defeat and another in an easy 3-1 win. They are rated as a 13/10 shot by Paddy Power (£100 free bets) to beat Villa and that has to be worth considering.
However, four of their six home matches have been against sides currently in the bottom seven of the Premier League. Aston Villa will represent a far sterner test than any of those sides and at 23/10 (Stan James – £150 free betting) to get the away win they may merit a second look.
One stat that certainly warrants further inspection is that the away side have drawn exactly half of their games this season. In fact, on their travels they have drawn four from six and so the stalemate looks very tempting at a big price of 5/2 (Ladbrokes).
Swansea have also drawn more than their fair share, with four in total and two from six at home. Villa have a superb record against the Welsh club, winning 11 of the 14 previous meetings but that will count for little in Sunday’s showdown. As said, statistically the draw looks a great bet and 1-1 has appeal at 6/1 (William Hill) considering the dogged defence of Brendan Rodgers’ men and the class of Villa’s front three.
All in all, we predict a tight game and it is a tough one to call. Both sides lost last time out and so a draw here would be an acceptable result for both managers and therefore looks the best shout.