Aston Villa-West Ham United Betting Preview: Back Benteke to raise Villa's spirits

Paul Lambert's men come into this clash desperate for three points - and Willie Duncan believes that the Belgium international can lead his side to victory
After producing an encouraging display in last weekend's thrilling 3-3 draw with Everton at Goodison Park, Aston Villa will look to claim their first home Premier League win since November when they welcome West Ham United to Villa Park on Sunday afternoon.

Paul Lambert's men have endured a dismal run of results which saw the Villa Park outfit crash out of both the Capital One Cup and FA Cup to Bradford City and Millwall respectively while their league form has seen them slip further down the table in recent weeks. Nevertheless, Villa are rated as William Hill's 7/5 (2.40) favourites to claim all three points this weekend.

West Ham United were boosted by a narrow 1-0 victory over Swansea City in their last game and Sam Allardyce's side - who have not won on the road since November - can be backed at 13/8 (2.63) with William Hill to bag a vital victory here while the same form go 21/10 (3.10) that the match ends in a draw.

The impressive form of Belgium international striker Christian Benteke has served as a beacon of hope in an otherwise dismal season for Paul Lambert's Villa.

The 22-year-old striker looks to be superb value at 9/2 (5.50) with William Hill to add to his impressive goal haul by scoring the first goal on Sunday afternoon while the William Hill offer a special “headline offer” of 3/1 (4.0) for Benteke to score at any time in a win for the home side.

West Ham United have found goals to be elusive on their travels this season, having notched just seven so far this term.

However, the Hammers’ attacking options have been bolstered by Andy Carroll's recent return to action and the former Newcastle United striker is available at 11/2 (6.50) with William Hill to score first here and the same firm make Carroll the subject of their “headline offer” of 4/1 (5.0) for the Hammers’ front man to score at any time in an away win.

This looks likely to be a tight, nervy affair and William Hill's 8/11 (1.72) quote on fewer than three goals to be scored looking appealing for those looking to take a safer option.
A home win, though, is the best bet here at a tasty 7/5 (2.40) with William Hill while the same firm's juicy 9/2 (5.50) quote on the in-form Benteke to break the deadlock should be snapped up eagerly by punters.

Aston Villa to win at 7/5 (2.40) with William Hill
Christian Benteke to score first at 9/2 (5.50) with William Hill

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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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