Stoke’s travel sickness to continue at hat trick-seeking Villa

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Aston Villa lurched away from the relegation zone with consecutive home victories. Now, with the poor-travelling Stoke on their way to Villa Park, there’s never been a better chance for a hat-trick.

Having got the better of Jose Mourinho last time out, Paul Lambert’s side plopped themselves quite safely in 10th spot in the Premier League, nine points clear of those sides scrapping for their lives at the bottom.

Stoke are level on points with their midlands opponents but aren’t fancied to add to their points tally just yet, having spent much of the season dreading trips away from the Britannia.

With that in mind there isn’t a better betting option than the 6/5 available with Ladbrokes on a Villa win on Super Sunday, with Stoke a 5/2 chance and the draw priced up at 23/10.

Stoke’s frailty away from the fortress that is their own stadium is the main reason for that suggestion, as Mark Hughes’ men have managed to collect just one win and seven points in their away games in the top flight this term.

Villa aren’t known for being a dominant, Stoke-like force at home, but even they can manage to roll such weak travellers without too much trouble.

Five wins and two draws at Villa Park this season makes Lambert’s side the fourth-worst home side in the division, but having topple Norwich then Chelsea in their last two outings there are going be flying-high on confidence and thirsty for more blood.

Having only failed to score once in the last seven matches in front of their own fans, it looks likely that they’ll be something for the maroon-clad fans to shout about and Christian Benteke is often the source of that joy.

The big Belgian is the 9/2 favourite to open the scoring against Stoke, 5/4 to score at any time and a tantalising 25/1 to score a hat trick.

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

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.