Aston Villa vs Fulham | Sunday 4th April 2021, 16:30 | Sky Sports
I looked at the outright prices for a long while and could probably have made an argument for Fulham at 5/2. The Cottagers have performed better than their results suggest in 2021 and have also recorded impressive – and deserved – victories over Liverpool and Everton over the last couple of months.
However, a couple of key factors prevented me from siding with Scott Parker’s men. Firstly, the unknown availability of Aston Villa’s key man Jack Grealish and secondly the fact that Fulham have only scored two goals or more in two of their last 20 Premier League encounters.
While 5/2 shots aren’t designed to be easy, I like to have confidence that a side could score that second goal and there is very little to suggest that Fulham have the capacity to do that so if you are to side with the Lillywhites I would recommend that backing 1-0 in the correct score market is the way to go.
It is now just one win in seven for Aston Villa and their dependency on Grealish has probably been shown in recent weeks, with their best player absent for six games, during which his side have managed just three goals (one of which was from an opponent).
I did consider opposing goals but wanted around 3/4 on under 2.5 goals and that is not available at present. Instead, I will go with a fairly trusted market where Villa full backs are concerned and take both the 9/2 on Matt Cash to be booked and the 6/1 on Matt Targett to receive a caution.
Cash has six bookings in 22 Premier League games this term, while Targett has six in 28. The referee Anthony Taylor has shown 57 yellow cards in 21 matches this season, which is slightly below the league average of 2.91 but not enough to put me off this bet. Fulham have a lot of pace in their side and while neither Cash or Targett are slow, they are not rapid at Premier League level.
Simply put, if there are three booking in this match, I would be surprised if neither of these players made the referees notebook.