Roker Riches: Our Picks For Villa Park

Stu Forster

After a week of slim pickings for our betting team last week, we'll be hoping for more luck with our picks for this weekend's trip to Aston Villa.

Pundit Last Week's Profit/Loss Current Balance
Simon Walsh -£10.00 £134.00
Stephen Goldsmith N/A £89.80
Luke Bowley £8.00 £64.56
Nick Holden £3.62 £37.62
Dave Boyle £3.50 £15.66
Karl Jones N/A £0
Craig Clark -£3.00 £-3.80

It was a pretty poor week from our pundits last time out, with all of us predicting Sunderland would get some kind of result from the Britannia Stadium. The home side won, thanks largely to Kevin Friend, and also a bit because Stoke were better than us on the day, which meant we had to look elsewhere for our winnings.

I gained the biggest profit, sticking a tenner on Monaco to beat Nantes because I'm a European Football Expert, while fellow European Football Expert Nick Holden predicted Elche would beat Valencia. Meanwhile English Luddite Dave Boyle won some cash going for Chelsea to score three or more goals against 'World's Worst Christmas Dinner' guest Sam Allardyce's West Ham side. Onto this week's selections:

Craig Clark

Another poor week for me betting and in terms of away game attendance. That's three I've been to, lost all of them, three red cards, no goals scored, six conceded. I'm going to Villa this weekend as well, so the odds say my luck and Sunderland's simply has to change. For that reason alone, I'm not going to jinx it by betting on us to win. Benteke hasn't scored for a while so I'm going for him to put that to an end this weekend in a Villa win.

Elsewhere, Inter and Juve have winnable home games in Serie A, while Man City look unstoppable at the Etihad.

  • Benteke to score anytime and Villa to win - £5 stake - 11/5
  • Inter, Juve & Man City to win - £10 stake - 137/100

David Boyle

Having watched Villa's Jekyll and Hyde performance against West Brom earlier in the week there was a side in the first half that you would gladly play every week and one that showed a lot more tenacity and desire in the second. Sunderland's away form is nothing short of appalling having won one, drew one and lost eleven of their last thirteen Premier League games on the road. With that said I'm hopeful we can hold on for a point with at least one goal for each side.

Elsewhere West Ham vs Fulham looks to have draw written all over it to me.

  • Aston Villa and Sunderland to draw with both teams to score - 7/2 - £2.50 Stake
  • West Ham vs Fulham, draw - 5/2 - £2.50 Stake

Nick Holden

Ok, so I pretty much fall for this every week but Sunderland are 3/1 to win away from home this weekend. Yes, I realise the reason why we have decent odds for the win is that we're awful away from home - but hey ho! Let's be optimistic, eh?

Away from red and white misery, I'm going to plump for red and white success. Southampton were unlucky to lose against an Artur Boruc inspired Arsenal last weekend, whereas Chelsea were rubbish against Basel midweek. Could the south-coast side compound Chelsea's woes with an away win? Probably not, but 6/1 sounds pretty tasty...

  • Sunderland to beat Aston Villa - 3/1 - £2.50
  • Southampton to beat Chelsea - 6/1 - £2.50

Simon Walsh

A couple of losing weeks in a row have me worried now, so really going to have to pluck something out the bag now and perhaps bet a little more conservatively. Christmas is coming after all, and every penny counts... feel free to add in your own cliché.

As for our game at Villa Park, I'm far from comfortable with what I think the result will be. So much so I dare not even utter it. I'm once again going for their being a total of three goals in the game at 31/10.

Elsewhere in the footballsphere, look out for wins for Blackpool, Boro & Wigan to boost your Christmas coffers.

  • Sunderland Vs Aston Villa, 3 Total Goals - 31/10 - £5 Stake
  • Wigan, Middlesbrough and Blackpool all to win - 9/1 - £5 Stake

Luke Bowley

Despite Sunderland's poor goalscoring record so far this season, I still think there's goals in that team somewhere. Our opposition certainly do, even with Benteke struggling with injury and form, and with both teams carrying potentially leaky defences, I think there's at least three goals in this game somewhere.

Elsewhere, Lille are second in the Ligue 1, while Valenciennes are in the bottom three. Therefore, with the away side Lille at good odds, I'll pluck for them.

  • Aston Villa V Sunderland: Over 2.5 goals - 23/20 - £5 stake
  • Lille to beat Valenciennes - 15/13 - £10 stake
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