New Aston Villa era begins against Swansea

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Aston Villa fans have been given a brief glimmer of hope in a season that has been filled with disappointment.

This positivity hasn’t come from performances on the pitch, where Remi Garde’s men continue to be terrible, but from within the boardroom.

Tom Fox, the much reviled chief executive, stepped down yesterday and the club is restructuring at the top in order to move past the current climate of mediocrity.

Furthermore, club owner Randy Lerner is looking to sell, while Garde is rumoured to be leaving in the near future and the Villans can prepare for life in the Championship with a clean slate.

However, for everything Villa can be happy about, they still have to play football and that is something that isn’t a good experience for the West Midlands outfit.

The first game for the new Villans will see them head to Wales to face Swansea City, with the hosts the 8/13 favourites for the encounter.

Francesco Guidolin’s men are eight points clear of the relegation zone and a recent turnaround in form has seen them all but guarantee safety.

The Swans have won two of their last three matches, including a 2-1 triumph away at Arsenal at the start of March.

Interestingly, all but one of the Welsh side’s last 16 outings have either been drawn or settled by a solitary strike.

However, they’ve only scored 30 times this term, the fourth worst record in the top flight and are unlikely to blitz Villa despite the visitors’ poor defence.

Garde’s men have conceded more goals than any other side in the Premier League and shipped nine across their last three outings, but another rout won’t be on the cards against a misfiring Swansea.

Taking all this into consideration, punters would be sensible to back the Swans to win by one goal at 12/5.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Dan Ross

After a brief stint as a commentator, Dan took his passion for football into writing and went on to gain an NCTJ in sports journalism. A lifelong Walsall fan, he's followed the Saddlers through the highs, getting to Wembley for the first time ever last season, and the lows, namely relegation to League Two in 2006.