West Brom enticingly priced to be top Midlands club come May

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Aston Villa are only a point ahead of rivals West Brom at present, yet their price to finish the season highest of the Midlands trio which includes outsiders Stoke, is odds-on.

For a team that spent the vast majority of last season staving off relegation, Villa’s price of 7/10 to finish higher than both the Baggies and the Potters, looks a tad stingy.

Meanwhile, fresh from an unprecedented Premier League win for Steve Clarke’s side at Old Trafford, which was followed by a well-deserved point against the current leaders Arsenal, West Brom’s odds of 19/10 holds far greater appeal.

Many could rightly argue at this point that Paul Lambert’s side have already beaten two of the title contenders in the Gunners and Manchester City, and they’d have a point, but at these prices, there is only one winner.

After all, West Brom’s eighth-place finish in Clarke’s first season in charge at the Hawthorns last term, was the highest the Baggies have ever posted in the top-flight and represented the second straight year in which they’ve finished above rivals Villa.

This was an improvement on 10th the year before and after some decent-looking additions, especially in the striker department; with the likes of Stephane Sessegnon, Nicolas Anelka and Victor Anichebe, the club has shown their ambition to keep evolving.

The breakthrough of five-goal man and England starlet Saido Berahino is just another bonus, while Nice loanee Morgan Amalfitano at right-midfield looks a real find.

Keeping Christian Beneteke was certainly massive for Aston Villa too, but having lost one of their most important signings to injury for the whole season, in centre-back Jores Okore, the question marks over Villa’s defence will remain.

If Stoke can rediscover their early-season mojo, 9/2 might even seem a touch generous in this market in the next few weeks also.

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

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