Both sides come into this one off the back of damaging defeats over the weekend, which gives this game even more importance.
Cardiff missed two penalties, which contrived to ruin my potentially lucrative predictions for the weekend, and they now sit just two points clear of the chasing pack ahead of one of the toughest away trips of the season.
Villa have a promotion charge of their own, but are stuttering at the worst possible time. Steve Bruce’s side’s 3-1 defeat to Norwich at Carrow Road on Saturday lunchtime made it just four points from a possible 15, and four goals in five games. Villa can, however, rely on a great record against sides in the top half at Villa Park. They haven’t lost all season at home against sides currently sitting in the top half, and with Cardiff in a sticky patch of form themselves, Villa look a good price at 5/4 with Coral to make it another big home win.
Not only do Villa boast a great home record this season, their ground is also a big bogey stadium for the Bluebirds. Cardiff haven’t won at Villa Park since the mid 1950s, so a win on Tuesday night would represent would represent a turn in fortunes of both past and present.
Cardiff’s England-esque penalty display on Friday night against Wolves will do nothing to quell calls that Neil Warnock’s side are starting to feel the pressure in the business end of the season. The trick in football betting is to back form (and even that doesn’t work a lot of the time), so 14/1 for a penalty (for either side) to be awarded AND missed is a pretty good price considering the events of Friday night.
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If you’re struggling to pick out a winner in this one, your safe haven for a winner may well be in the goals department, or indeed the lack of goals department. The Villains have drawn blanks in two of their last four games, while Cardiff have scored just once in their last two fixtures. Throw in the fact that this could well be a very cagey game between two sides who will be petrified of losing, and under 2.5 all of a sudden looks a pretty safe (if not hugely valuable) bet at 4/6 with Paddy Power.
Even better money can be found on the draw, and the Irish bookmakers have that one down at 11/5. If you fancy a low-scoring draw between two sides that would be happy with a point, however, back under 1.5 goals at the same price, which would cover you in the event of a 1-0 victory for either side.