Gerard Houllier prepares for his first Premier League game as Aston Villa manager with the challenge of maintaining an undefeated record against midlands rivals Wolves which spans three decades.
Houllier got his Villa tenure off to a bright start when watching his side safely qualify for the last 16 of the Carling Cup at the expense of Blackburn and will want to also kick off his league reign with a victory.
Villa are 6/4 to win away at Wolves and they have not lost against Mick McCarthy’s team since 1980.
They have also won 12 of the 16 league and cup meetings to have taken place since.
However, there are many stats which suggest that a home win is more than a possibility.
Villa have lost all of their last three Premier League away games and have conceded 11 goals in the process, while Wolves are unbeaten in their last eight league and cup outings at Molineux.
Wolves are 9/5 to take the three points.
Gabby Agbonlahor scored Villa’s only goal at Wolves last season, but along with Stephen Ireland is doubtful for this year’s trip.
This could mean that Emile Heskey will lead the line for Villa, particularly after turning the game against Blackburn when stepping off the substitute’s bench with a goal and two assists in the 3-1 success.
He is 6/1 to open the scoring against Wolves in the Premier League betting, while John Carew is 11/2 to strike first after netting both Villa goals in the 2-2 draw at Villa Park between the pair last season.
Steven Fletcher has already scored three goals for Wolves since moving from Burnley over the summer.
He found the net for his former club against Villa last season and is 5/1 to be the first goalscorer against them again.
It is 23/10 that the third meeting between the two in succession will end in a draw. See the full Wolves vs Aston Villa match betting market.