For many punters Aston Villa may be the best-value bet to be relegated in the Premier League odds this season at 9/2, but Stewart Downing is still confident that the experience within their squad will be enough to ensure their safety.
Off-the-field problems have been the highlight of Villa’s season to date, with many of the senior players resenting the new rules imposed by manager Gerard Houllier and a large number of the squad seemingly short on morale.
Villa have only won six Premier League games since Houllier’s appointment in September and despite the strength of their squad, this lack of victories has seen them slip to just one point of the relegation places.
However, the foot of the table is extremely tight with just three points separating the bottom eight clubs and Downing feels that Villa can collect enough points over their final eight games to ease clear of the bottom three.
He told the Birmingham Mail: “If you look at the quality we have got here I think our experience will shine through.
“It is easy just to point and blame each but we are better than that and are strong enough to get through this.”
Downing has already suffered Premier League relegation with Middlesbrough before and can play his part to ensure Villa do not suffer the same fate by helping them get a result at Everton in their next game.
Villa are unbeaten in their last nine top-flight games with Everton and are 7/2 in the Premier League odds to leave Goodison Park with the three points.
Meanwhile, the last three league clashes at Goodison Park have all ended all square and it is 5/2 that the next encounter is also a draw.
A £20 stake on Aston Villa’s trip to Everton finishing 1-1 would return £110. New customers can sign up here to take advantage of free bets totalling up to £60.