Villa’s promotion prospects

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Kodjia lost the number 26 shirt to Terry.

Aston Villa greatly improved its chances of being promoted to the Premier League by beating Wolves, the top team in the table and the overwhelming favorite to win the Championship, but then almost immediately reversed their gains by losing to QPR.

There are some legit options available rated by people which had experienced and tried each of the sportsbooks listed where you can find betting odds on who will earn promotion in case you want to check them out, and most of them now have Wolves as strong favorites to be promoted, as strong as 1/25, and Aston Villa as longshots at 15/8. Ahead of Villa in almost all books are Cardiff City at 2/5 and Fulham at even odds.

With the QPR loss, Aston Villa essentially erased their chances of making the top two and automatically earning promotion to the EPL, so the question becomes how they’ll fare in a playoff with Fulham, Derby County, and Middlesbrough.

While Villa currently leads those three in the table, they’ve lost their most recent matches to Derby County and Fulham, and with their recent loss to QPR, bettors are a little wary.

Fulham in particular are dangerous; after a tough start to the season, they’ve improved dramatically, with recent wins over Wolves, Derby County, and Villa. They’re not likely to trip up against QPR this weekend, and the teams remaining on their schedule are good enough to stay sharp, but not good enough to drop Fulham off the table.

In Aston Villa’s favor is the possible return of striker Jonathan Kodjia. After an ankle injury resurfaced early this season, Villa management and fans counted him out for the remainder of the year. His well-documented recovery seems to be progressing faster than expected, and there’s some hope that he could return to the squad in time for a playoff.

That would be huge for Villa: Jack Grealish might not be able to haul the club back into the Premier League by himself, and Kodjia is one of the top goalscorers in the Championship.

Aston Villa should concede the top two to Cardiff City and Wolves and focus on their prospects in the promotion playoffs. A seven-point deficit is almost certainly too much to make up with the number of games remaining, and the playoff isn’t going to be an easy one. Holding out for Jonathan Kodjia to save the day probably isn’t smart either; as well as he’s progressing, he’s still a very long way from being ready to play and there are precious few weeks left on the schedule.

It’s altogether a dismal prospect for Villa, who probably didn’t expect to be in the Championship for this long, and are tantalizingly close to promotion now, but still not a betting favorite. Those long odds are, unfortunately, mostly fair, and reflect the difficulty ahead for Villa.

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