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Ireland and Sidwell heading for Aston Villa departure in January

| 22.12.2010

Aston Villa may be set to lose at least two of their central midfield stars in the January transfer window as offers are likely to come in for both Stephen Ireland and Steve Sidwell.

With Ireland supposedly keen to leave Aston Villa in January, one of his former bosses at Manchester City, Mark Hughes, is apparently keen to rekindle their partnership at Fulham.

Ireland has been of the season’s biggest flops since moving to Villa as part of the James Milner deal to Manchester City.

And despite Villa being hit with lengthy injuries to Stiliyan Petrov and Nigel Reo Coker, Gerard Houllier has often chosen to play novice youngsters Jonathan Hogg and Ciaran Clark instead of Ireland.

Meanwhile, Sidwell has been another name on the injured list and his Villa days may also be numbered after falling down the pecking order.

West Ham have been reportedly in talks with the midfielder, while Blackburn are another club to have shown an interest.

Villa’s injury troubles are part of the reason why they are struggling down in 15th spot in the Premier League standings, but they will be keen to take a step in the right direction when facing Tottenham next.

Premier League betting odds have Spurs as the slight 11/8 favourites, with hosts Villa 2/1 to take the three points despite only losing once in the league at home in nine games this season.

Villa are yet to win back-to-back league games this season but will have taken some confidence from their latest league success over West Brom, which ended a run of four successive defeats in all competitions.

However, Spurs manager Harry Redknapp is unbeaten in his last nine league games against Aston Villa.

A £10 bet on Aston Villa and Spurs drawing 3-3 could lead to a return of £500. New Ladbrokes customers can sign up here for a free £10 bet.



Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.