Aston Villa v Hull
Saturday 5th August, 17:30
Live on Sky Sports

Aston Villa

A rotten start to life in the Championship saw Robert Di Matteo dismissed as Aston Villa boss last season and while Steve Bruce failed to put the Claret & Blue into promotion contention, the Villans came close to puncturing the top-half.

The 1982 European Cup winners have since bolstered their squad with the additions of new captain John TerryChristopher SambaAhmed Elmohamady and Glenn Whelan and bookmakers have marked the Second City club out as second favourites to take Championship title honours.

Last season's leading scorer Jonathan Kodjia is set to miss the opening month of action along with Jack Grealish and Mile Jedinak. Reports suggest Gabby Agbonlahor could lead Villa's attacking line with Scott Hogan also struggling for full fitness.


It's been another tumultuous summer for Hull City with an exodus of first-team players departing, disgruntled supporters deciding to stay away and an ownership that lost faith in the Tigers a long time ago.

With highly-rated head coach Marco Silva also moving on, City appointed former Russian manager Leonid Slutsky as their new boss. Ola AinaKevin StewartOndrej Mazuch, Michael Hector and Frazier Campbell have all arrived to plug the gaps but Slutsky's squad still looks threadbare at best.

Pre-season results have encouraged Humbersiders and with Abel Hernandez and Adama Diomande likely to be fit, as is midfielder David Meyler, handing Hull a timely boost ahead of their Saturday curtain-raiser.

Match Odds

Hull 4.00 recorded back-to-back victories to kick-off their Premier League campaign 12 months ago, including a surprise 2-0 triumph in Swansea. However, that was the last occasion the Tigers tasted victory on the road in league football with City scoring just seven more goals during a miserable run of results (W0-D3-L15).

Since 2003/04 relegated Premier League clubs have lost 13 (57%) of 23 away matches on the opening weekend of the Championship and following another transitional summer, I'm not expecting Hull to be capable of turning the tables so soon.

Aston Villa 2.12 hold plenty of appeal at the prices. The Claret & Blue have beaten the Tigers in nine of their last 10 meetings at Villa Park and returned an impressive W12-D8-L3 on home soil last term despite their obvious toils.

The Villans collected 71% of their points tally as hosts during 2016/17 and I make the home side a rock-solid play in the Match Odds on Saturday evening.

Over/Under 2.5 Goals

Aston Villa were the Championship's dullest club to follow in 2016/17 with matches averaging just 2.07 goals per-game. With eight of the past 10 Villa Park fixtures featuring fewer than three goals and only 25/35 (71%) of games under Bruce's watch delivering for Under 2.5 Goals, a repeat is understandably skinny at 1.59

However, more adventurous punters could be tempted to back an Aston Villa win 'to nil' at 21/10 - a selection that's paid out in nine of the home side's past 12 victories as hosts - or the 1-0 (11/2) and 2-0 (7/2) correct scores seeing as eight Villa Park triumphs arrived via one of those two correct scores.

Recommended Bets

Back Aston Villa to win @ 2.12

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