Local rivals Aston Villa and Wolverhampton Wanderers will clash in the Carabao Cup with the winner progressing to the quarter-finals.
Aston Villa (13/10)
While it took them a little while to really get into a rhythm, Aston Villa finally seem to be coming together as a squad at this level. Their Premier League return was highly anticipated, and with some fine tuning, they should be more than capable of making a sustained push for the top half of the table. Whether or not that comes to fruition this season remains to be seen, but they’re certainly on the right track and the infrastructure of the club has come a long way in the last few years.
Villa have been a little bit inconsistent here and there as of late, but it hasn’t been the easiest of schedules – but not the hardest, either. Their two losses recently have come against Manchester City and Arsenal, with the latter being particularly unlucky after they played so well for most of the game. They drew 2-2 against Burnley and beat Norwich, whilst also putting Brighton to the sword both in the Carabao Cup and Premier League.
Wolverhampton Wanderers is a completely different club to how they looked five years ago, and that’s a testament to their bouncebackability – and Fosun, of course. Their Europa League adventure threatened to derail them in the Premier League, but much like Villa, they’ve been able to prove the doubters wrong. They may have a small squad given what they’re trying to accomplish this season, but so far, they’ve been able to scratch and claw their way towards some great results.
Wolves have slowly but surely been building up a nice unbeaten run for themselves lately, with two of their most notable triumphs coming against Besiktas and Slovan Bratislava, both away from home in the Europa League. They had suspect draws against Newcastle and Southampton, coming from behind in both, but also beat Watford and Manchester City, with the City win coming after a tremendous performance.
It’s going to be a tough back and forth battle when these two sides meet, but when push comes to shove, we honestly believe that the atmosphere at Villa Park will guide them above their rivals. Wolves have more to worry about with their next Europa League group stage clash looming large, and while they’ve got the quality necessary to get the job done here, we can see Villa being a little bit more up for it on the night. It won’t be a whitewash by any stretch, but Villa should have enough in the tank.
We’re going to say that there will be a few goals in this one, likely in a frantic second half after the two sides spend the first 45 minutes feeling each other out. Therefore, we’re going to back the over 2.5 goals.
Verdict: Back the home win at odds of 13/10 and the over 2.5 goals scored at odds of 1/1. (All odds are taken from bet365).
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