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

19:45 TODAY BT3

Crotone v Lazio

Home Win Draw Away Win
Key stats
  • Crotone have lost one of their last eight games - a 3-0 defeat at champions Juventus
Expert verdict
Crotone have collected 17 points from eight games since the start of April and can give themselves the best chance of staying up by defeating Lazio. Survival will be assured if Crotone collect more final day points than Empoli, who play away to relegated Palermo. Crotone's fate is out of their hands but they can do their bit by beating Lazio, who have lost three in succession.

 

Competitions

Whether it's the Johnstone's Paint Trophy or the Champions League, Soccerbase will ensure you don't experience a big cup upset

Teams

Agonising over Aberdeen?
Yearning for Yeovil? Our database is crammed with every football club you could possibly wish for

Players

A plethora of players ranging from Adebayor to Zamora. All you need to know to find out who is the best bet to score next

Referees

Card-happy control freak?
Astute arbiter? Make the right decision on any referee with the help of our specialist pages

Managers

From Allardyce to Zola, our massive manager database, with histories and win ratios, is sure to get your vote of confidence