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The Villans step up their pre-season preparations on Wednesday and Adam Bate expects the English side to want to show their new manager what they can do

Aston Villa continue their preparations for the forthcoming season under new boss Paul Lambert when they take on Philadelphia Union on Wednesday evening.

A Villa XI recorded a narrow win over Burton Albion before flying out to the United States but this fixture represents the beginning of their pre-season in earnest.

Lambert has indicated that everyone will have the opportunity to impress and it would be no surprise if his young squad - including new boys such as Brett Holman from AZ - will be looking to take their chance at the earliest opportunity.

Aston Villa are 5/6 (1.83) with Paddy Power to win this one.

Earning that victory against Philadelphia should prove a tougher task than it looked like being earlier in this Major League Soccer campaign.

Philadelphia endured a dismal start to the season with eight defeats from their first 12 games and are still only kept off bottom spot in the Eastern Conference by Toronto.

But they have enjoyed an upturn in form since the sacking of Piotr Nowak.

In fact, the Pennsylvania side have won four of their last five games - including victory over LA Galaxy away - under John Hackworth.

Games in hand mean they are still clinging to hopes of a play-off spot and an important game away to New York Red Bulls at the weekend could prove a distraction. But with their confidence up they may relish the chance to take on this Villa side.

Philadelphia are 11/4 (3.5) to win here and the draw is available at 12/5 (3.4) with Paddy Power.

Ultimately though, Philadelphia will know this is effectively a mere run-out before the New York clash and they’re not a team with the ability to succeed while giving anything less than 100 per cent.

As a result, the best bet in this one is to back Villa to win at the industry-best price available with Paddy Power.

Best Bet - Aston Villa to win at 5/6 with Paddy Power

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Adam Bate is a professional freelance journalist who specialises in football and betting. He is editor of GhostGoal which can be found here - you can also follow Adam on Twitter

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