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Paul Lambert's side play host to Steve Clarke's Baggies on Sunday afternoon and Willie Duncan is expecting a tight encounter between the West Midlands rivals

Aston Villa and West Brom experienced contrasting fortunes in the League Cup in midweek but both teams will be fully focused on Premier League business when they clash at Villa Park on Sunday afternoon.

Villa were in fine form as they ran out as 4-2 winners, albeit after extra time, over Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium and Paul Lambert’s men are chalked up at 7/5 (2.40) with Bet365 bag a crucial three points when the Baggies make the short trip to Villa Park.

Steve Clarke’s side have enjoyed a decent start to the season, but were disappointed by a 2-1 defeat against Liverpool on Wednesday.

The Baggies will be eager to make amends this weekend and are rated as a 2/1 (3.0) shot with Bet365 to do so while the same firm go 23/10 (3.30) that the match ends in a draw.

Villa have managed just five goals in their first five Premier League games and were soundly thrashed by Southampton last weekend but Paul Lambert will hope that key striker Darren Bent, fit again after missing a large chunk of last season due to injury, can help fire his side to glory in the west Midlands derby.

Bent is chalked up as Bet365’s 9/2 (5.50) favourite to open the scoring on Sunday while Gabriel Agbonlahor, who scored a double against Manchester City in midweek, is available at 13/2 (7.50) with Bet365 and Villa fans will hope that the striker's goals on Tuesday mark a timely return to form for the tricky winger.

Romelu Lukaku has made a good impact since joining the Baggies on loan from Chelsea in the summer and the striker, who has scored twice in four appearances, is priced up at 13/2 (7.50) with Bet365 to score first here.

These matches are traditionally tight affairs with five of the last six meetings between the sides ending 2-1 either way with the sixth clash ending in a 0-0 draw and it is difficult to imagine that this one will be any more open.

A 2-1 win for Villa is chalked up at 17/2 (9.50) with Bet365 while the Baggies can be backed at 10/1 (11.0) with the same firm.

However, it is best to side with stalemate in a match that has all of the makings of a typical derby clash and Bet365’s 5/1 (6.0) quote for a 1-1 draw looks to be the value pick here.

BET
OF THE
DAY
BEST BET
VALUE BET
Draw at 23/10 (3.30) with Bet365
1-1 draw at 5/1 (6.0) with Bet365

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Willie Duncan is a freelance sports journalist. Willie, from Edinburgh, has covered Scottish football for over 10 years and he specialises in football betting markets from across Europe. You can also follow Willie on Twitter

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