MAN UTD appear to be coasting towards the end of the season and a more motivated Villa side might just offer the chance of an unlikely win at huge odds.
Stats, form, years of Premier League history and just simple common sense point to a home win on Monday night as Manchester United host Aston Villa.
It's no surprise to see the champions-elect trading at 1.27 to beat their fellow Premier League ever-presents in the last fixture of this gameweek.
Paul Lambert's struggling outfit are an enormous 13.0 to win at Old Trafford with the draw way out there too at 7.0.
So what is it that is pulling me towards a seemingly crazy back of the relegation-threatened Midlanders?!
Motivation and desire is definitely part of it. Villa's need for points far exceeds United's and that counts for so much at this time of the season – witness Wigan's outlandish victories over United and Arsenal at a similar time last season. Witness, too, Villa suddenly discovering form in the last few weeks.
United have thrown in some lacklustre performances of late and the feeling is they have started to coast as the season comes to its end, content to have done enough in the league but disappointed at the way things turned out in Europe and FA Cup. What could have been a truly memorable year will end with a solitary league title.
An energetic Villa side will latch on to any sluggishness from the home team and it wouldn't surprise me to see the visitors score first. The claret and blue frontline is in decent nick with Christian Benteke and Gabriel Agbonlahor – the last Villa player to score a winning goal against United way back in 2009 – both among the goals recently.
Manchester City and West Ham have both put two past David de Gea in recent games and the United defence seems to have lost a touch of its impregnable sheen.
If Villa can score first, their current win odds of 13.0 will collapse. And that takes us into cash out or back-to-lay territory which is the way I'd play it – building a profit on all sides so whether it's a Villa win, defeat or draw you make money.
Let's face it, if Lambert's men do take an unlikely lead it will only serve to wake United up! That's exactly what happened in the previous fixture between the two this season when Villa went into a 2-0 lead only to lose 3-2. A repeat on Monday night would be just the trick.
Betting is all about the price and big odds do come in from time to time, so you have to take a chance on outsiders occasionally. I imagine at least 90 per cent of you will be in disagreement and for those looking to pile into the home side I end this preview with a smattering of the best options.
United/United in the halftime/fulltime market @ 1.81
United win to nil @ 2.1
In-form Robin van Persie to score first @ 5.5
.. but, me, I'll be chasing the big win with an outlandish bet on Villa.
Back to lay Aston Villa @ 13.0 (lay @ 3.0 or cash out should Villa lead)