Three more days, Villa fans. Three more days. We are all anxious, excited, and nervous - this year's Premier League journey will be upon us soon. As I am sure many of you have already done, let's take a look at how the bookies think the Villans will fare ahead of the 2015/16 season.
There are 5 props which feature Villa: Champion, relegation, top goalscorer, first manager to leave, and opening day vs. Bournemouth.
As you could have guessed, this year's title favorites are Chelsea with consistent odds of about 7/4, followed Man City, Arsenal, and Manchester United all of whom perch between 3/1 and 5/1. Villa's odds sit in the redundancy that is 1500/1 and 5000/1. Jeez.
Here is where it really gets interesting. Nobody realistically expects a title push this year, but everybody should be at least a little worried about relegation - Tim Sherwood's fantastic experiment has always had the potential of backfiring, but also the potential to work wonders and turn us into the next Southampton. The bookies' task is to try to find a number that protects them for both scenarios, while still acting as a predictive tool for us fans. Right now, Villa is well clear of the newly promoted trio of Watford (2/3), Norwich (1/1), and Bournemouth (6/5), along with the always disinteresting and irrelevant Sunderland (2/1). Villa has odds extremely similar to that of Leicester, averaged out to be a bit higher, but both the Villans and Foxes are only 3/1 to get relegated. Villa is followed by West Brom and Newcastle at 5/1, and West Ham at 6/1.
This category has gotten a lot more irrelevant after the departure of Christian Benteke, but let's take a look anyway: The three Villa players* that feature are Jordan Ayew, Rudy Gestede, and Emmanuel Adebayor*. Ayew has the best odds at as low as 66/1, with Gestede and Adebayor hitting 100/1. In a moment of nostalgia, Christian Benteke is the 5th favorite to be top goalscorer - trailing only the likes of Sergio Aguero, Diego Costa, Wayne Rooney, and Harry Kane, while also impressively edging the likes of Alexis Sanchez and Eden Hazard.
First Manager to Leave:
Personally, I can't see this happening. It appears that Randy Lerner has put all his eggs in the Tim Sherwood basket, and he is willing to stand by him through whatever rough patch Villa may hit. But, nonetheless, the bookies are not so sure. Tim Sherwood has the 5th lowest odds, ranging from 7/1 to 10/1. A bit puzzling given last season's work, but less puzzling given the major changes that he has instituted in his short months so far at Villa.
Matchday one, away to Bournemouth:
Villa enter the 2015 campaign as underdogs to a Premier League debutant. For one reason or another, Bournemouth is an even 1/1, the draw sits at just over 2/1, and Villa to win is a surprisingly high 3/1. Villa haven't performed incredibly this preseason and have plenty of new faces, but being that strong of an underdog against a newly promoted team on the opening day is a bit surprising.
What do you think? Let us know!