Derby Delight: Aston Villa Championship Title Odds Slashed Ahead Of Defining Run Of Fixtures
Aston Villa claimed the local bragging rights in the 'Second City Derby' on Sunday afternoon as they romped to a 4-2 win over Birmingham City and it was a victory that continued their resurgent Championship form under manager Dean Smith.
The Villans had only won four league games all season when they sacked Steve Bruce and replaced him with Smith on 10th October - the West Midlands outfit have been much-improved since then, winning four of their six matches with their new boss at the helm.
Villa were as big as 33/1 to win the Championship with the bookmakers when Smith was brought in, but a run of three successive wins ensures they are now 14/1 to win the division.
Furthermore, Villa were 9/1 to be promoted back to the top-flight when Smith arrived and that price is now down at 4/1 ahead of a defining run of fixtures.
The next four-to-five weeks will ultimately decide Villa's season as they face a really difficult run of fixtures.
A home match against Nottingham Forest on Wednesday is followed by successive away games at fellow promotion hopefuls, Middlesbrough and West Bromwich Albion, respectively.
Villa then face a fellow fallen giant, Stoke City, who were relegated from the Premier League in May, before a home game against the bookmakers' favourites to win the division - Leeds United - on Sunday 23rd December.
The Villans then head to Swansea on Boxing Day before signing off 2018 with a trip to Preston on 29th December.
The seven games remaining between now and the end of the year will effectively decide whether Villa can be considered title challengers.