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12th Mar, 2018 | 2:13pm

Danny Murphy delivers verdict on Aston Villa automatic promotion bid

Former Liverpool midfielder and BBC pundit Danny Murphy believes that Aston Villa have the momentum going into the final few matches of the season, as the Claret and Blues attempt to stake an automatic claim to the Premier League.

Wolves have been pinned back to an advantage of just three points at the top of the table following Steve Bruce’s side’s 4-1 humiliation of the West Midlanders on Saturday night.

That leaves Villa four points behind Cardiff City in second and seven behind Nuno Espirito Santo’s side.

While Neil Warnock’s men are flying at the moment, the same can’t be said for Nuno’s, whose form has stuttered lately and with Cardiff and Middlesbrough lying in wait for the Portuguese manager, there’s a feeling that the race at the top might be a lot closer than Wolves fans had thought.

Speaking on the talkSPORT Jim White show (broadcast at 10am), Murphy said: “It’s taken them (Aston Villa) a while to get the balance.

“They’ve got the momentum.”

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Football Insider verdict:

There hadn’t really been a challenge at the top of the Championship until now and with the nature of Villa’s win over their rivals on Saturday, it has to be said that Wolves are the ones who look like they might be in danger of not gaining automatic promotion. Nuno’s side seem to be unable to get back on track and what a 4-1 defeat will do to their confidence remains to be seen. Bruce’s side had a blip which coincided with Jack Grealish’s absence in the team through injury but since his return to the fold, their form has resumed. It’s going to be close but Murphy could be right and Villa could make it straight to the top-flight.

In other Aston Villa news, ‘Nowhere near’ – Collymore delivers damning verdict on £21,000-a-week player.

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