Aston Villa v QPR: Landmark Bent goal will not secure home win

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Mark Hughes was touted as the early favourite to be named new Aston Villa manager during pre-season and Villa fans will be left doubly disappointed that he did not accept the job when he guides QPR to a vital away victory.

Villa eventually appointed Alex McLeish to take over in the hotseat and after a relatively steady start, things have gone downhill of late.

This has been largely as a result of their shoddy home form, with McLeish watching his team lose four of their last five fixtures in the top flight at Villa Park.

But if Villa are to rediscover a winning formula on their own patch, QPR may be the ideal visitors to do so against as they have taken just a solitary point from their last five games on the road.

Aston Villa’s odds are 5/6 to beat QPR and this looks a tad short given their struggles, although there has never been an away win in the nine career Premier League meetings between the pair.

In QPR’s favour is that Alan Hutton and Stephen Warnock have looked especially vulnerable of late in the Villa defence and if Hughes can encourage Shaun Wright-Phillips to attack the byline, he could have some joy.

The performance of Wright-Phillips could be pivotal in deciding the match outcome and it is 7/2 that QPR give themselves some breathing space from the relegation places with a victory.

Nedum Onuoha should also be available to make his debut following his move from Manchester City and could help the club tighten up defensively.

In terms of goals, the aforementioned Wright-Phillips could be overpriced at 12/1 to open the scoring, with Darren Bent available at 9/2 in the same market for Aston Villa, which would be goal number 100 for him in his Premier League career.

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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.