Aston Villa have looked sturdy and reliable this season, consistently churning out wins in which modest scorelines have belied controlled performances, and victory at Elland Road on Friday would move them two points off the top two.
Hosts Leeds United saw their own automatic promotion hopes dissipate due to a run of seven league defeats in nine between mid-September and early November, but two wins from their last three means they at least remain part of the play-off equation.
The Whites are 13/8 (2.63) for a triumph that would move them up to seventh, where they finished last season, or 21/10 (3.10) for a draw - which was the outcome when these teams last met back in December.
Leeds, though, have not avoided defeat for successive league games since early September, which suggests there is some value in the 9/5 (2.80) on an away win.
Keinan Davis has been key to Villa’s run of four wins in five, providing the focal point to their attacks and enabling Robert Snodgrass, Josh Onomah and Albert Adomah to shine; indeed, the latter has scored braces in two of his last three games and is 13/2 (7.50) to do so again.
The home side’s main threat comes from Ezgjan Alioski, who has netted in each of their last four encounters, and is 11/4 (3.75) to score anytime, whilst Samuel Saiz is 13/5 (3.60) to take his season tally into double figures.
In the last seven games in which Villa have been ahead at the interval, they have gone on to win the game, therefore there may be value in backing the Villans to lead at half-time and hold onto a win at 7/2 (4.50), while the West Yorkshire outfit failing to score a second half goal is tempting at 5/6 (1.83).
Alternatively, a 2-1 win for Bruce’s men – which has been the scoreline in three of their last five victories and two of Leeds’ last four defeats – is 9/1 (10.0).
However, our best bet is the 21/10 (3.10) on a Villa win and under 4.5 goals, which would have come off in eight of their last 11 games.