With the Premier League making its much-welcomed return to action this week, Sheffield United will look to continue on their remarkable European charge when they make the trip to an empty Villa Park on Wednesday evening.
Last seen back in March when picking up a 1-0 win against fellow returners Norwich, the Blades had previously been enjoying a four-match top-flight unbeaten run, collecting 10 points on what was a scintillating purple patch.
On the flip side, while Wednesday’s guests might still sit firmly in the top-six chase, Aston Villa find themselves in a far more worrying situation at the other end of the table.
Making their return to action in midweek still sat in the bottom-three, Dean Smith’s men had previously lost their last five consecutive appearances across all competitions and the mood in their camp remained at a season-low.
You might be interested to know, with Sheffield United landing a 2-0 win when they welcomed Villa to Bramall Lane earlier in the season, another victory for the Blades can be found priced at 13/10 with William Hill.
Villa’s defensive nightmare
Despite breaking the bank last summer on their Premier League return, Aston Villa find themselves sat two points adrift of safety and continuing to show some glaring issues prior to the enforced break.
Last seen back in March when completely blown away at the King Power in what was a 4-0 drumming against Leicester, Dean Smith’s men had lost their last five matchups on the bounce and had gained a reputation for their problems at the back.
While Manchester United target Jack Grealish might have continued to catch the eye, the former Brentford boss has seen his side ship 56 Premier League goals this season, the worst defensive record in the top-flight.
Even more worrying for fans around the Midlands, along with shipping a trio of strikes at home against Tottenham back in February, Villa have now conceded at least a pair of goals in each of their previous five defeats.
Without a clean sheet to their name since Boxing Day, you might be interested to know that Wednesday’s hosts can be found priced at 5/4 with Coral to concede over 1.5 goals on their return this week.
United’s European charge
Keeping the morale in their camp at a high with a 4-0 romp against Championship outfit Hull in a friendly behind closed doors last week, Sheffield United have continued to shock most across the Premier League this season.
Making their top-flight return alongside Wednesday’s hosts last summer, Chris Wilders’ side mark their return from the enforced break with only their goal difference keeping them from climbing into the European spots.
Last seen on Premier League duties back in March when landing a 1-0 win over rock-bottom Norwich, the Blades were in the midst of a seven-match unbeaten run across all competitions, winning six of those contests.
With an ever-growing reputation for their rugged displays at the back, you might be interested to know that the Premier League dark horses can be found priced at 11/4 with Paddy Power to land what would be a stunning top-six finish this season.