In the past few weeks it seems Aston Villa have been wading through quicksand in terms of the relegation situation. Villa in buoyant form have picked up 16 points from nine games, which is top-half form, yet still they haven’t cleared the relegation picture.
Still any Villa fan would have taken a 40-point haul, if it was offered to them in February, when the pessimists were crying out loud after a terrible January. Even in late March, the doom mongers were questioning where any Villa wins were going to come from in the remaining fixtures.
Five wins in the last nine games is pretty good…but still, the glass remains half empty for some.
Some Villa fans are saying that the Arsenal vs Wigan game is the most important game in Villa’s season. Really? So the recent wins against Sunderland and Norwich weren’t bigger?
The most masochistic of fans are getting themselves worked up that Villa will still go down, because Wigan are going to beat Arsenal away and then finish off Villa at the DW Stadium. Oh, and Sunderland, they’re going to get a draw at White Hart Lane to finish off the job of Villa’s relegation to the Championship.
Do you know the odds of this actually happening?
Wigan to beat Arsenal is 15/2
Wigan to beat Villa is 1/1
Sunderland to draw at Spurs is 4/1
In total it’s a 84/1 treble bet!
(If you fancy Sunderland to actually win at Spurs (8/1), it’s a 143/1 treble bet)
You’d never back anything at 84/1 and expect it to come in, but put a tenner on it and you’ve won yourself enough for a holiday to take your mind off Villa’s relegation.
But What if Wigan beat Arsenal…
It’s a big ‘if’, since Wigan played an FA Cup final a few days ago and have a serious injury crisis. But yes, it would then be squeaky bum time for the last match of the season, but it would still be in Villa’s hands, and we’re pretty good away from home. No Benteke? Can’t you see the headline though – ‘Ex-player Charles N’Zogbia relegates Wigan’.
Also, due to their inferior goal-difference to Arsenal, Spurs will need to beat Sunderland whatever the result at the Arsenal vs Wigan game to be guaranteed of a Top 4 spot.
In short, Villa are as good as safe. If you come to me at the end of the season, if Villa are relegated and say, ‘I Told You So’, I’ll say the same thing back to you. 84/1 – pessimist, you should have put some money on it!
Remember – surviving is not cause for celebration as a Villa fan, it’s just relief.
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