Friday, September 10, 2010

Will Stoke Play the Role of Villains? - Betting News with Betfred


Aston Villa fans will be hoping the classic 'new manager' syndrome kicks in when they face Stoke City in the Premier League on Monday night.

Despite the season being only a few games old, it has been a rollercoaster ride for Villa fans. Firstly Martin O'Neill unexpectedly resigned just five days before the opening day of the season.
Then caretaker boss Kevin MacDonald went from hero after victory on the opening day, to villain following a 6-0 thrashing at the hands of newly promoted Newcastle United, all in the space of a week!

Now former Liverpool manager Gérard Houllier has been 'unofficially' handed the reins at the club.

Although Houllier has been announced through the media as the new Villa boss, and unveiled as the new man at the helm of the Birmingham based club via a press conference this afternoon - it has become apparent that his tenure does not in fact start this Monday night.

As Houllier 'negotiates' his exit from the role as the French Football Federation's (FFF) technical director, he will not be in the dugout for Monday's trip to Stoke in the Premier League, with caretaker manager Kevin MacDonald running the team in his absence.

Villa are currently sitting in the Premier League top four and their powers of recovery were evident in their win over Everton last time out. To get a win against the Blues after being trounced by Newcastle, and then going out of Europe in calamitous style to Rapid Vienna only days earlier, showed the fighting spirit among the team.

Struggling Stoke who have not won a point all season are 13/8 in the Premier League betting to stop the rot on Monday night.

If Villa can show a similar resolve against The Potters, who are always tough to beat at the Britannia Stadium, then the 15/8 on offer for Villa to take all three points could well be seen as a good football bet by many punters.

Many football fans will be wondering what effect Houllier will have on the players at Villa Park. It has been a long while since he was a Premier League manager and his success at Liverpool came a decade ago.

It will be interesting to see how the players perform for the new man and how they feel about him replacing MacDonald, who is clearly highly thought of by the players, and has spent many years at the club.

Houllier said that he was disappointed MacDonald, who took over the reins following O'Neill's shock departure in August, had turned down the chance to work as his assistant. "I am working on naming an assistant manager," the Frenchman continued.
"Joint management doesn't work, but in some capacity as assistant manager he (MacDonald) would have been helpful. He could also have maybe learnt the trade and, who knows, taken over from me. But I understand his decision, he's a nice bloke so I won't hurt him - I told him I'd like him to stay at the club."

Once Houllier is 'officially' installed as Villa's new first-team manager, MacDonald will return to his job as reserve team boss.
Houllier could take charge of the team at Villa Park for the visit of Bolton in the league on the 18th September, or possibly for the midweek Carling Cup clash against Blackburn, or failing that the league trip to Molineux on the 26th September.

Meanwhile Kevin Macdonald will reside in the dugout on Monday night, and will continue to do so until further notice, OR when the contractual issues between Villa and the FFF are finally resolved.

My Tip for Monday night:

This is going to be a very close game and Stoke are notoriously tough at home, so Betfred's 9/4 for the match to end in a draw seems a logical outcome.

Monday 13th September: Stoke City v Aston Villa, kick-off 8pm - Live on Sky Sports

By Drew Swainston
(Guest writer from Betfred on behalf of Beer Footy and Birds!)

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