It's fair to say it's been a good start to life under Steven Gerrard for Aston Villa.
So far, so good for new boss
Four wins from six games - the other two being narrow defeats to Liverpool and Manchester City - is certainly a good return for the new man at the helm and explains why Villa are odds-on at 1.774/5 to beat struggling Burnley.
Like every game at the moment, getting a handle on the team news seems pretty important but, at time of writing, COVID seems to have hurt Villa less than most - Anwar El Ghazi their highest-profile player laid low by the virus.
Leon Bailey and Marvelous Nakamba are injured though, while Emi Buendia is a doubt with a knock.
For Burnley, 5.14/1 to win the game, their main injury concern is Maxwel Cornet, a player who has made a good start to life at Turf Moor.
His creativity and goal threat is needed - Burnley have failed to score in exactly half of their games this season (nine of 18 in all competitions). In away Premier League games it's four of eight.
Goals a problem for Burnley
They've not scored in their last three, although at least they've tightened up at the back in that period, conceding only once with skipper Ben Mee now back too.
That lack of goals is clearly a big reason for the fact Burnley have won just once in their last 11, although seven of those have been draws so, in true Sean Dyche fashion, they do seem up for the fight against relegation.
In terms of positives, the Clarets are unbeaten in their last three trips to Villa Park, while Chris Wood has scored in three of his last four meetings with Villa. He's 2/1 to score in this one and will likely look to add to Tyrone Mings' recent problems, the England defender having struggled at times in the last few weeks.
However, Burnley lost at lowly Newcastle recently and Villa's form should be a cause for concern for the travelling contingent.
How to back Villa at odds-against
Villa look a bit more attack-minded under Gerrard with Ollie Watkins certainly enjoying the last few weeks - he's scored three times in those six games under new management to establish himself as first choice ahead of Danny Ings.
Villa have scored at least twice in four of those matches, only failing to do so against City and Liverpool, so the way I'm going to approach this is to back Villa to win and over 1.5 goals in the game.
Seven of Villa's eight wins this season have come via this method so it's something I'm happy to back at odds-against.
The popular over 2.5 goals line is regarded as a pick 'em and not something I'm looking to get involved with given the contrasting data of the sides - Villa's home games have gone over 62% of the time, Burnley's away matches only 38%.
Turnaorund looks overpriced
Some figures that are more noteworthy are the goal timings of both sides.
These show Villa have scored the vast majority of their goals (17 of 23) in the second half but Burnley have netted only five of their 14 after the interval.
The HT/FT market has Burnley/Villa at 30.029/1 which looks big based on those numbers and worth a nibble, while clearly there's also potential for in-play punters, particularly if Burnley manage to get ahead early on.
However, my best bets for this game come in the shot markets where Villa's Matty Cash smacks of value.
Shoot for Cash profit
Gerrard's attacking philosophy very much involves the full-backs getting forward - those who followed his Rangers side will know how much he used James Tavernier to attack.
Clearly allowing full-backs a free rein is somewhat easier when in charge of one of the Scottish Premiership's giants but both Cash and Matt Targett have been getting forward well in recent Premier League games and both were certainly to the fore in Tuesday's win at Norwich.
Cash has hit 2+ shots in five of his 19 games so far this season but filter things down to home league games and the ratio becomes an impressive four in eight, figures which make 7/2 about it happening again here look big.
Burnley have conceded the most shots per game in the top flight this season and it's not hard to see Cash getting forward into shooting positions here.
I'm also going to back him for 3+ shots given that's landed in three of those eight league games at Villa Park - that's a whopping 12/1 which is simply too big.
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