It was a hurly burly weekend in the FA Cup with more than enough shocks to keep the romance of the cup alive, but it’s back to the bread and butter of league football on Tuesday night in the Championship. Middlesbrough may have lost 2-1 at home to Burnley in the cup on Saturday, but they’ve kept eight consecutive clean sheets in the league, and they’re a very good price to continue the good work when they visit Brentford in midweek.
Derby’s superb unbeaten run was ended by Boro in the last round of fixtures but they got back to winning ways by beating League Two side Hartlepool in the FA cup, and they can be backed again at home to mid-table Reading. Sheffield Wednesday are quietly having a very good season under Carlos Carvalhal, and they’re another team strongly fancied to do the business when crisis-club Bolton come to town; while Wolves are also tempting to beat Fulham on Tuesday evening.
Brentford v Middlesbrough
Middlesbrough look a touch of value when they travel to Brentford at 69/502.38+1381.381.38-0.72 with Betfred and Totesport
The Bees are by no means an easy side to beat on their own patch, but Boro are beginning to look a cut above the rest of this division, and are already looking like the side most likely to win the title. The way they’ve breezed past promotion rivals Brighton, Derby and Burnley in the league in recent weeks without conceding a goal has seen them go four points clear at the top. They’ve kept eight clean sheets in a row, winning seven and drawing just once, and despite Saturday’s cup reverse, they can come good again here. Manager Aitor Karanka opted to rest some of his stars for the cup match, but still bemoaned his side’s wasted chances and felt they should have won. Last week’s 2-0 victory over Derby solidified their position at the top, and the combination of a tight defence and a clinical strikeforce is working wonders on Teesside.
Brentford have certainly picked up the pace after a torrid start to the season, but they’ve lost the last two – away at Birmingham in the league and at home to Walsall in the FA cup. Promotion has always been the target this term, but they currently sit in 10th with a five point gap to make up to reach the play-offs, and that looks like the most realistic proposition. Boro have won on their last two visits here, and they are at their best when hitting teams on the break.
Derby v Reading
2nd placed Derby also look a good bet to grab three valuable points on Tuesday when they entertain an inconsistent Reading side. The 67/1001.67-1490.67-1.490.67 on offer with Skybet, BetVictor and Coral is certainly worth a nibble.
The Rams had a middling start under rookie boss Paul Clement, but he has brought all of his European coaching expertise to the club and guided them to a very promising position. They were far and away the best side in the division last season before an incredible collapse under Steve McClaren, but they’re poised to go one better this time around. They’ve only lost twice in the last 21 games in all competitions – at the hands of Middlesbrough and local rivals Nottingham Forest – and they’ve won 7 of the last 8 at home.
Reading are in 12th position under Brian McDermott, but a record of seven defeats in ten games tells it’s own story. They also lost star striker Nick Blackman in the January transfer window, ironically sold to Tuesday’s rivals Derby, and his goals will be a big miss for the Royals. Six of the last seven aways have been defeats, and another one looks to be on the cards in midweek.
Sheffield Wednesday v Bolton
Sheffield Wednesday might be unfashionable, but a price of 31/501.62-1610.62-1.610.62 with BetVictor, Betfred and Totesport on them beating Bolton is too good to miss.
The Trotters are in all sorts of trouble at the moment, and almost suffered a demoralizing defeat to non-league Eastleigh in the FA cup at the weekend. They managed to fight back and secure a 1-1 draw on the day, but the last thing they need is a replay when they already have plenty to worry about trying to earn Championship survival. Neil Lennon’s side have just one win to their name in the last 20 Championship games, and that is relegation form through and through. They’ve lost seven of the last ten away from home with just three draws and it’s hard to fancy their chances at Wednesday on Tuesday.
The Owls are in fine form at the moment, and Saturday’s 2-1 cup win over Fulham was their eighth win in eleven in front of their own fans. They’re 7th in the table just two points off the play-off places, and will see this as a must win game in their quest for promotion back to the big time after a lengthy absence.
Wolves v Fulham
Our final tip is Wolves to beat Fulham at 11/102.10+1101.101.10-0.91 with William Hill
Wanderers were unlucky not to earn a replay after holding out for 85 minutes against West Ham in the FA cup, but they are good enough to beat a leaky Fulham side back on home soil on Tuesday night. They’ve won three in a row in the Championship without conceding a goal, and the ability to defend could make all the difference here.
Fulham are shipping goals in almost every game they play, and they’ve managed to win just once in the last 12 matches. Away from home it’s four defeats in six (two draws) and they’ve let in at least two in all but one of those games. Wolves will have their tails up on Tuesday night and they can go in for the kill to take all three points.
Eric has been a sports journalist for over 20 years and has travelled the world covering top sporting events for a number of publications. He also has a passion for betting and uses his in-depth knowledge of the sports world to pinpoint outstanding odds and value betting opportunities.
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