This weekend was heart-throbbing for any Villa fan, but amidst the misery of last minute defeat, there is a much bigger picture to be seen. Let's take a look at how Villa's odds look following Sunday's 3-2 defeat to Leicester City in comparison to fellow relegation candidates.
Sunderland: The Black Cats retain their title as the most likely team to relegated, to the surprise of absolutely no one. They have been abysmal this season, and they will need performances far better than the one which scrapped out a draw at Villa Park if they hope to remain in the Premier League next season. Sunderland's odds sit at a miserable 2/5, and get as low as 3/10.
Aston Villa: Villa have free-fallen all the way to second in the relegation race. Second? Yes, second. After hovering at about 3/1 for the majority of the young season, following defeat at Leicester, Villa's relegation odds have been slashed all the way down to 3/2. Sunday's loss was extremely disappointing, but is it really deserving of this drastic of a change? This seems like an overreaction to me, and if I were a gambling man, I would be very happy with the 1/2 offerings on Villa's survival.
Bournemouth, Watford, and Norwich: The three newly promoted teams have enjoyed a mix bag of results so far this season, showing both their capabilities of impressive success and their capabilities for humiliating performances. The newbies' odds all sit between 7/4 to 9/4, with the bookies being most confident of Norwich's survival.
Newcastle: Newcastle have looked absolutely shocking since the opening day, and their odds have fallen into the 9/4 range to sit in the same are as the Premier League new boys. On performances alone, Newcastle's odds should certainly be worse than Villa's, but the bookies appear to be confident in the amount of money invested in and the Premier League experience present in the Newcastle squad.
West Brom and Stoke City: West Brom and Stoke sit between 3/1 and 4/1, with Stoke being the less likely team tipped for the drop. Both sides have seen lazy starts to the season result in different point totals - Stoke round up the Premier League table, yet West Brom sit above Villa on the table with a 1-0 win over a 9 man stoke and two 0-0 draws away to Watford and home to Southampton. Exciting football.
Next manager to be sacked: The bookies aren't sounding the panic sirens on Tim Sherwood's post yet. Sherwood's odds sit at around 14/1; very substantial odds which are, of course, dwarfed by those of Brendan Rogers, who sits at 5/4, and those of Dick Advocaat at 3/1.
Top-half finish: Mirroring the relegation odds, Villa's top half odds are the second largest in the Premier League. Villa's odds range from 8/1 to 10/1, but the crowd of teams just above sit at no better than 6/1, so the difference is for the most part minute at this stage. That is, except for Sunderland, who have odds of as high as 40/1 to finish top half. Ha.
What do you think? Let us know!