More Villa second-half misery at Den suits me

There's no rest for the wicked or, in Aston Villa's case, for the mediocre football team. Villa were knocked out of the Capital One Cup by Bradford on Tuesday so they must be looking forward to a nice, comfortable Friday night FA Cup tie at, er, Millwall. Oh dear.

The scale of Bradford's cup run is still sinking in for me. They could actually lift the trophy with a starting line-up that cost £7,500, which is less than a punter who'd had a fiver on them at the start of the tournament would win. I had to sit down and have a few deep breaths after working out that little gem.

Back to Villa, though, whose manager Paul Lambert clearly believes that Eric Cantona-style quotes will drag his side out of the mire. Lambert told reporters: "It's a big wheel and it always turns" although the phrase: "It's amazing how bad we are in the second half of matches" might have been more relevant.

In their last six games, Villa have conceded 14 goals after half-time and they blew a 2-0 lead in the derby against West Brom last weekend. Three of Bradford's four goals in the semi-final came in the second half and Villa's youngsters seem to be struggling to close out matches.

With all that in mind, I'm heading to the double result market for a couple of small plays on Villa HT/Draw FT and Villa HT/Millwall FT. I should, of course, warn you that Billy Bunter statistical theories can seriously damage your wealth.

Match in Focus

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Freiburg v Hertha Berlin

Home Win Draw Away Win
Key stats
  • Hertha have won one of their last 15 Bundesliga matches
Expert verdict
These sides have only two points between them but Freiburg look the more likely to improve as the season goes on. Freiburg played well in the recent 0-0 draw with Gladbach and were handed a tough task at Dortmund last week, while Hertha’s home defeat to Mainz should send alarm bells ringing in Berlin.

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