Two and a Half Goals: Go big at Villa Park and low at Wembley

11May 2013



The Inside Man picks out a quartet of unders/overs bets from the English football menu, starting with Aston Villa v Chelsea and finishing at Loftus Road for QPR v  Newcastle



Aston Villa v Chelsea

The last time these sides met, in November, the result was an 8-0 drubbing for Aston Villa. Yet it's the London club who find themselves looking for a new manager,  while Paul Lambert looks to have done just enough to buy himself some more time at Villa.


Technically though, the Midlanders still need another victory to be sure of survival. Even a point would not guarantee their safety. And so I expect Villa to go in  search of those three points in their typical cavalier style on Saturday, which should mean plenty of goals. Indeed of Villa's last 20 league matches, only three have  failed to be high-scoring. That's less down to tactics, and more down to the woeful state of Villa's back-line, which stands just goal away from being the worst  defence in the division.


And while Rafa Benitez may not have a reputation for being an entertainer, the stats suggest otherwise, with Chelsea the second highest scorers in the division and  having produced high-scoring games in roughly two thirds of their fixtures.


Recommended Bet

Back Over 2.5 goals @ 1.76



Manchester City v Wigan

Keeping things tight, or tightening up. Whatever you call it, what's clear is that Manchester City haven´t been scoring or conceding too many goals of late. Sixty per  cent of their last ten games would have made money for those backing under the goals mark. And notably, among those results was a 1-0 victory over Wigan.


What's also worth noting is that City have scored the bulk of their goals at home. On their travels, Roberto Mancini's team have managed only a fraction more than a  goal a game. And more recently, they've failed to score in two of their last four road matches.


This, of course, is an away fixture for both sides, and this will give hope to Wigan, who possess the best away record in the bottom half of the table. I think it's  fair to say that success is largely down to solid defensive displays, with Wigan having conceded less goals on their travels than any other side in their half of the  table.


Also note that the Latics have been especially gritty during their cup run, producing five low-scoring games in their seven FA Cup ties this season.


Recommended Bet

Back Under 2.5 goals @ 2.44




Fulham v Liverpool

There's no doubt for me that Martin Jol's Fulham have achieved too much, too soon this season. Having secured their Premier League status fairly early on, Fulham  appear to have then switched off, going on a run of six games without a win, that's earned them just a solitary point.


Last week's result was probably the most humbling of that run, as Jol's side slumped 4-2 at home to Reading. You have to think that if the Royals can enjoy that kind  of success then there´ll be plenty of hope for Liverpool too.


It´s true that when it comes to goals scored, Fulham's matches tend to be feast or famine. But I think there´s enough evidence to suggest Sunday's fixture is more  likely to be the former. Liverpool put four goals past Fulham in their own back yard when these teams met earlier in the season and the Merseysiders have been arguably  the most entertaining team in the Premier League on their travels, having produced 14 high-scoring matches from their 18 road games during this campaign.


Recommended Bet

Back Over 2.5 goals @ 1.76



QPR v Newcastle

Rangers may have now relinquished their Premier League status, but unfortunately for their fans it seems to have had little effect on their results or style of play -  the London club are currently on a run of five low-scoring games in a row.


And if the battle to stay up couldn't spark them into goalscoring life, it's hard to imagine what might make it happen now. The Londoners have failed to score in their  last 365 minutes of league football, and you have to suspect that mentally their players will not be fully committed to their remaining fixtures.


In theory that should play into the hands of Newcastle, if it weren't for the fact that they too are having goalscoring problems. Only once in their last four games  have Newcastle found the net, form that has seen them dragged into the heart of the relegation scrap. Nerves are fraying on Tyneside, and that suggests we could be in  for a repeat of the low-scoring, scrappy encounter witnessed back in December, Newcastle scraping a 1-0 victory on that occasion.


Recommended Bet

Back Under 2.5 goals @ 2.0



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Keywords: Two and a Half Goals, Villa Park, Wembley

Source: Betfair

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