With just one win in their last six, Aston Villa will be desperate to resurrect their form in the hopes of getting back in to the play-offs. However, they couldn’t face many sterner tests than the visit of Sheffield United.
Battle of the finishers
This is a key game for both sides, for Villa; they can claw themselves to within a point of the play-offs with a win. For United, they can go level on points with Leeds in second place, and will actually move above them should they get three points on account of their superior goal difference.
This is more than a clash of the two teams, it is a clash of two of the leagues best strikers. Tammy Abraham and Billy Sharp are neck and neck at the top of the goal scoring charts, both with 19. The two expert finishers have been the main outlet of goals for their respective sides. Particularly Abraham, who has 13 more goals than the next highest scorer for The Villains: Jonathan Kodjia. Sharp has had a little more support, with his strike partner David McGoldrick chipping in with 11 goals this campaign
You can’t look past either for getting on the scoresheet on Thursday evening. Siding with Abraham as your selection for a bet may be wise, of his 19 strikes this season, a staggering 15 of them have came at Villa Park. He has also scored six times in the first 15 minutes, and a further five have come before half time, making him statistically a great bet for first goal scorer at a price of 4.5.
Form favours the Yorkshire side
Villa are in a strange run of form, just one win in their last six, but also just the one defeat. Leaving them with four draws, including a 0-0 with strugglers Reading last time out. Both sides will feel hard done by not to have taken all three points after chances were spurned by either team.
The Blades head in to this fixture as one of the most in form teams in The Championship, only bettered by Bristol City and Hull, who are both in their finest form of the entire campaign. United have tasted defeat just once in their last eight games as they have cemented themselves as real contenders at the top of the table. Take that form with a pinch of salt however, as United have only won one of their last four trips away from Bramall Lane; drawing two and losing one.
If it’s The Blades you fancy, you can back them to win at 2.6.
Go for goals
Villa’s games this season in The Championship have averaged 3.3 goals in each, with United’s averaging 2.7. There have been over 1.5 goals in 87% of Villa’s games this season, comparatively, that stat is at 73% for Sheffield United. With the leagues top two scorers playing, it’s hard to see this game being dull. Although both strikers will be focused on their team performance, they will be desperate to one up each other.
At home, Villa have the league high for goals scored but also goals conceded, you’re never short of entertainment at Villa Park. In addition to this, Sheffield United are the leagues joint second highest scorers on the road. It’s all shaping up to be a frantic night in Birmingham. Over 2.5 goals is priced at 1.73, if you fancy a Championship classic to unfold; over 3.5 goals is available at 2.88.
Tammy Abraham to score first @ 4.5
Over 2.5 goals @ 1.73
Sheffield United draw no bet @ 1.8