Only five teams have scored less goals than Aston Villa in the Premier League so far this season, and with Darren Bent now ruled out with ankle ligament damage until the end of the campaign, Villa could be a value bet to be relegated at 14/1.
Villa fans’ frustrations are growing each week with the negative and tiresome tactics that manager Alex McLeish is employing, and there now seems even less chance of them being anything other than ineffectual in the absence of injured striker Bent, and Robbie Keane, who has returned to LA Galaxy following his loan spell.
Instead they must turn to Emile Heskey as a prime source of goals, and with an average that nears one goal every nine games for Villa, and having found the net just once so far this season, the Midlands club’s woes in front of goal look as though they could be set to continue.
Even with Bent available, the Villains were far from prolific, having hit just 29 goals in 26 Premier League games so far this campaign, though the England striker is responsible for more than a third of these strikes.
Keane too, made a very positive impact during his short tenure with the club.
He forged an understanding with Bent which reaped rewards for both of them, and his average of one goal every two games was as impressive as any player in the Villains squad.
Now, with both missing, it seems highly unlikely that Villa will be able to capture any sort of similar telepathy between existing attacking squad members such as the temperamental Charles N’Zogbia, and the inconsistent Gabby Agbonlahor, while Nathan Delfouneso has been farmed out on loan to Leicester.
Apart from Stiliyan Petrov’s four-goal haul, and Marc Albrighton’s two strikes this season, no other Villa player has found the net more than once, and these worrying signs seem to make Villa an interesting proposition at 14/1 for the drop.