Swansea City travel to Aston Villa on Saturday hoping to keep themselves in touch with the Championship play-off places.
The Swans head into the game 11th in the table, just two points behind sixth-placed Sheffield Wednesday.
The bookmakers have Swansea at 3/1 to beat Villa, and that looks a good price against a side who have struggled to live up to expectations this season.
Wilfried Bony and Jefferson Montero are Swansea’s only absentees at the moment, although both are closing in on a return.
Swansea have struggled for goals this season, but manager Graham Potter has insisted he will not rush the duo back into action.
However, he will be hoping for a much-improved performance from his side this weekend following their shock 3-2 defeat at home to Ipswich Town in their last game.
The home side are expected to be fired up this weekend for what will be Dean Smith’s first game in charge of the club following Steve Bruce’s sacking.
The former Brentford boss has taken over a team who have won just once in their last ten outings and who are in desperate need of a result.
Despite that run of form, Villa are just two points behind Swansea and have plenty of time to force their way back into the promotion race.
Sky Sports’ pundit David Prutton believes it could be a difficult afternoon for Swansea and he has tipped the home side to win 3-1 (15/1 at BetUK.com)
“What a massive occasion this will be for Dean Smith,” he said. “His first game in charge of his boyhood club at Villa Park against tough opposition should make for a fantastic encounter, and he’ll be desperate to get off to a winning start.
“Swansea have struggled for consistency so far this season and managed to lose at home to Ipswich before the international break, and it will seem like forever that Graham Potter has had to dwell on that defeat. I’m going to back Smith to get off to a perfect start.”
Despite Prutton’s prediction, Swansea will fancy their chances of securing a positive result this weekend.
They are unbeaten in their last seven meetings with Villa, winning five and drawing two. The draw can be backed at 49/20 and that looks a solid wager.
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