Despite a shaky start which saw the club depart with Roberto Di Matteo after just 124 days, things are finally looking up for Aston Villa, and the arrival of Steve Bruce has played a huge part in that.
Prior to his appointment in mid October, the Villans were sitting in 19th-place in the Championship table, just two points clear of the relegation zone and four off the bottom.
Four wins and three draws later, and the West Midlands outfit are 11th in the league, now just four points away from a play-off spot as we head into December.
And that unbeaten run will satisfy one punter in particular, who got on the 20/1 for Bruce’s men to make it to Christmas without losing a game on the day he was appointed as boss.
It’s a credit to the former Birmingham City boss that Villa are now 4/1 to be promoted this season. They were 15/2 when he took over.
There are still four games to go for that 20/1 to come in, and three of those are away from home.
First up it’s a trip to Elland Road against an in-form Leeds United. Garry Monk’s side are fifth in the league right now, but Villa head to Yorkshire knowing a win will close the gap between themselves and their opponents to just a point.
That’s followed by the visit of Wigan Athletic, a place where Bruce spent nearly two years between 2007-09. The Latics are in the relegation zone as things stand, and the home side will be confident of another three points here.
The penultimate game before Christmas is against Norwich City. Both sides were relegated from the top-flight last year, and while the Canaries enjoyed a fine start to this campaign, they’ve struggled for form of late.
And that means they’re just two points ahead of Villa as things stand in the league right now – despite being 13 points clear of them before Bruce took over.
The visitors boast a psychological advantage over their opponents, too, winning five of their last six meetings with the East Anglia outfit.
Rounding off proceedings before Christmas Day is a meeting with Queens Park Rangers. Like Aston Villa, the Hoops have also fired and hired a new boss this season, as Ian Holloway returned to Loftus Road after 10 years away.
The two teams have drawn four of their last six meetings in all competitions, and providing the Claret and Blues make it through their next three unscathed, a point here would mean our plucky punter can finally cash in.
We’re crossing our fingers for you, whoever you are!
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing