Aston Villa desperately need the win which could lift them out of the relegation zone. With just thirteen games left in the Premier League, time is fast running out.
Tim Sherwood will be desperate to start his new reign at Villa Park with a win and to be honest it is pretty crucial that he starts his tenure with a positive result.
Victory for the Midlands side could lift them above Sunderland, Hull and QPR and the next few matches could go some way to determining who stays up and who goes down to the Championship at the end of the season.
Obvious words perhaps, however Villa are in serious danger and need to start finding their form in front of goal. Sherwood is putting much faith in Christian Benteke, however the Belgian striker has only scored two of Villa’s meagre total of twelve Premier League goals and the home side will struggle to score against the most solid defence in the bottom half of the league table.
The Potters are sitting in tenth position and victory at Villa Park could lift them towards the European spots. Nevertheless, Stoke have suffered an amount of inconsistency of late with just two wins and two draws in their last six outings, however Villa’s scoring record will fail to worry the visitors’ defenders too much.
The last six meetings between these sides have seen the spoils shared with two draws, two Stoke wins and two Villa wins, however we’ll be expecting an away win for Mark Hughes’ men this time around, given Villa’s form so far this season.
Christian Benteke will be the main Villa threat and he is undoubtedly vital to Villa’s chances of survival, however he is showing none of the form of last season and we can’t back him with any confidence whatsoever to find the back of the net tomorrow.
Indeed, the safest bets we can go for are a simple Stoke win-to-nil and under 2.5 goals. Villa are having serious problems in front of goal and failure to address this will certainly see them playing Championship football next season.
Our betting tips
Stoke City win-to-nil – BetVictor 15/4
Under 2.5 Goals – Ladbrokes 11/17