Championship: Hull City v Aston Villa Tips
CHAMPIONSHIP specialist Ross Casey (@RossCasey24) shares his verdict from tonight’s live Championship fixture between Hull and Aston Villa.
Hull were very disappointing last season after relegation from the Premier League. Their season never really got going and they finished 18th just eight points ahead of the relegation zone. Of the 29 matches Nigel Adkins had in charge of Hull, he only picked up nine wins and will be hoping his much changed squad can improve upon that statistic.
The likes of Abel Hernandez, Michael Dawson, Moses Odubajo and Seb Larsson have left the club, whilst the impressive Harry Wilson has joined Derby on loan after a very good loan spell with The Tigers last season.
Aston Villa had a very turbulent summer after losing the Championship play-off final in May. There have been question marks over the future of their owners and the manager Steve Bruce as well as their star players but it has pretty much been a return to the status quo. Steve Bruce remains in charge and there have been no major outgoings as yet.
We have made Hull sixth favourites for relegation this season and they are also underdogs to win this fixture with odds of 15/8. As stated already above, they have lost a lot of experience and quality from their squad and they also have injury worries over both Kamil Grosicki and Jackson Irvine – two of their key attacking options.
Their pre-season was a mixed bag with two wins, two draws and two defeats from six games. They did manage to score in five of those matches, however, so Adkins will be hoping they can continue that kind of goalscoring form into the regular season. The experienced Frazier Campbell was their top scorer in pre-season but only netted six in 38 games for Hull last season.
With the possibility of Jackson Irvine and Grosicki out, they may well struggle to break down the Villa defence – something that plays into the statistic that eight of the last 11 meetings between these two sides have seen less than three goals.
Despite the off-field shenanigans surrounding the club over the past few months, they have managed to retain their squad – apart from John Terry and Sam Johnstone – from their first team. They have now been linked with moves for both Joe Bryan and Tammy Abraham who would be good signings at this level and also have a fully fit Jonathan Kodjia.
After an amazing first season with Villa where he scored 22 times, his last year at Villa Park was a dud with just one goal in an injury blighted season. He is like a new signing for Steve Bruce and against a Hull side that conceded nine in six during pre-season he will fancy himself to get off the mark here.
Villa lost just one of their six pre-season games and also had the opportunity to play Andre Green, their youth product who also missed most of last season through injury and both he and Kodjia scored three times.
The betting angle
Aston Villa look capable of kicking off with a win here for me looking at both pre-season results and the injury news. I will be backing Aston Villa to win, under 2.5 goals and also for Jonathon Kodjia to score.