FOOTBALL LEAGUE fanatic Ryan Wilson (@ryanjameswillo) shares his verdict from Monday night's live Championship fixture between Hull and Aston Villa.
Hull v Aston Villa | Monday 6th August 2018, 19:45 | Sky Sports
Losing play-off finalists Aston Villa begin the new season mirroring last term – facing Hull City, away from home this time around.
Villa stuck with Steve Bruce after a summer of uncertainty in many aspects, including serious financial issues and strong links to rookie coach Thierry Henry. New owners arrived to save the day and bail the former Premier League mainstays out, possibly keeping star man Jack Grealish at the club in the process.
On the flip side, Hull’s summer has seen a weak squad hit hard. Ten first team players exited the Yorkshire outfit on frees with a handful remaining in the Championship.
While the Tigers have drafted in six, they’ve also lost four loan stars who were vital to their survival last term, including exciting winger Harry Wilson. From their last meeting with Villa, only four of the starting 11 and eight of the 18 in the squad remain.
Villa are technically six players light themselves, with the losses of Lewis Grabban, Robert Snodgrass and John Terry likely to him them hardest. Nevertheless, the Villains arrive on the back of a very strong pre-season campaign where they won four of six contests and scored 15 times.
What to expect
We know exactly what to expect from Steve Bruce after 20 years in management. The former Hull gaffer’s pragmatic approach has seen him promoted from the second tier to the Premier League on four occasions.
Opposing manager Nigel Adkins has seen his stock plummet with poor spells at Reading and Sheffield United and he may have considered himself lucky to get the opportunity at the KCOM Stadium.
Adkins could be without six players on Monday, including central defenders Ondrej Mazuch, Jordy de Wijs and Reece Burke, giving him a major selection headache. Villa will be without Scott Hogan and Keinan Davis upfront, but the return of talisman Jonathan Kodjia will relieve any pressure.
The betting angle
Hull earned most of their points on home soil last term with W7-D8-L8, but that record becomes W2-D4-L6 when up against top =0half finishers. The Tigers played out a stalemate with Villa when they last met, taking two points from them in total.
Despite a weak away record where only 10 of their 23 trips ended in victory, Villa bore a travelling record W7-D2-L3 against bottom-half sides last term. While odds of 8/5 (Betfred) on an away win appeals, I’m happy to play it safe and take the 83/100 (Marathon) on Villa in the Draw No Bet market.
Villa’s away matches against bottom 12 sides last term would’ve seen us win 58% of times with 17% resulting in a refund. Of those 10 wins, eight were successful in the win to nil market. Expanding that, Villa kept clean sheets in 15 of their 24 wins, winning without conceding in 63% of triumphs.
Take a punt on the 17/5 (188BET) on the visitors to win to nil here.