Back Aston Villa @ 1.97 to beat Fulham

I made the mistake of backing an unreliable Premier League outfit last week (Sunderland since you ask) and I fear I may be doing so again by plumping for Aston Villa in round 34 of the battle.

Just five home wins from 16 Premier League games does not set a particularly inspiring standard, but at nearly even money to beat a woefully out-of-sorts Fulham at Villa Park I have to get them onside this week.

Yes, Paul Lambert’s side have been pumped 4-1 in their last two games but they were good enough to beat Chelsea and Norwich by a combined scoreline of 5-1 in successive home matches before those recent reverses and they should get the better of Felix Magath’s struggling side.

Villa took the lead at Old Trafford last weekend, had plenty of chances (most of which Christan Benteke missed) and really should have made it closer than the bare result suggested.

Fulham are 1.19 to be relegated and, though I risk stating the obvious, must win this and probably five of their last six if they are to escape the drop. But they haven’t shown many signs of winning recently and provided Villa are motivated they should have enough to get past the Cottagers.