The winner takes all as Boro and Brighton battle for promotion.

Premier League Awaits Winner of Boro v Brighton

The winner takes all as Boro and Brighton battle for promotion.

Football matches don’t come much bigger than the one between Middlesbrough and Brighton on Saturday, and by full time one of the two sides will be celebrating promotion to the Premier League. With the financial rewards on offer next season there couldn’t be a better time to join the top table, and with Boro and Brighton locked together on 88 points, this promises to be an incredible occasion.

Burnley have already secured their promotion after beating QPR last week, and they travel to Charlton on Saturday looking to wrap up the Championship title. either of Boro or Brighton could snatch the title with a win if Burnley get turned over, but one of them is definitely destined for the play offs. That will give the loser on Saturday a second chance at promotion, but Middlesbrough suffered play off heartache in the final against Norwich last season and will be desperate to avoid the end-of-season lottery. They have the slight advantage in that a draw will be enough to see them take that second automatic spot, while Brighton have to win to overtake their hosts.

Middlesbrough v Brighton

This match is the only place to start, and from a betting perspective there is value in backing Brighton or Draw at  -133  with Bet365

The Seagulls have had a remarkable season this term, and led the way for a long time prior to Christmas. Ironically, it was the 3-0 home defeat to Middlesbrough that kick-started a poor mid-season run which left them chasing, but their end-of-season form has been excellent and brought them to this position. They’re now unbeaten in 13 Championship games since the 4-1 defeat in Cardiff in February, and they’ve won five of the last six road matches. Brighton keeper David Stockdale has insisted his side must not be overwhelmed, and pointed out that if they’d been offered this chance at the start of the season they’d have gladly taken it.

Middlesbrough are also in good form and the two key advantages – being at home and only needing a draw – put them in the box seat ahead of Saturday’s game. They’re also in very good form going into the game having gone nine Championship games without defeat. They’ve also only been beaten twice at the Riverside this season, conceding just seven goals in 22 home games. However, their last three fixtures have resulted in draws against Burnley, Ipswich and Birmingham.

Financial firm Deloitte have estimated that this game is worth a massive £170 million to the winner, which makes it one of the richest games in football to date. A point would be enough for Boro to ensure promotion and they are past masters at keeping a solid defensive line. Brighton will be chasing the game and a bet on the double chance is good value for a side that has gone unbeaten for so long – especially considering a draw would be perfectly acceptable to Middlesbrough.

Charlton v Burnley

Burnley are worth backing at  -189  with Betfred and Totesport to get the win they need to secure the title at already-relegated Charlton.

The Clarets have had a superb season under Sean Dyche after relegation last term, and the Burnley boss hailed his side’s ‘business like’ promotion. They’ve remained unbeaten in the league since Boxing Day and now the pressure is off they can approach this game with no other thoughts than claiming the title.

Charlton have had a torrid time this year with ongoing debates about ownership. The fans have made a series of protests against Belgian businessman Roland Dutchatelet, and it’s a sorry state of affairs at the club. They will be plying their trade in League One next season after relegation was confirmed a few weeks ago, and despite a 2-1 win at Leeds last week, they’ve generally been in poor form. The last two home games have resulted in defeats to Derby and Brighton, and Burnley have won on three of their last four visits here. The incentive of winning the league should ensure that the Clarets do the business.

Huddersfield v Brentford

Finally we’re backing over 2.5 goals at  -143  with Marathonbet when Huddersfield host Brentford in an end of season ‘dead rubber’.

Neither side have anything to play for with Huddersfield 19th and Brentford 10th in the table. We backed goals in the Huddersfield game last week when they went down 4-0 at Bristol City, and they are worth following to feature in another high-scorer here. Five of their last ten home games have had three or more goals, while nine of Brentford’s last ten aways have gone over the 2.5 goal line. Furthermore, there have been at least three goals the last five times these two sides have met, and we expect another goal-laden match on Saturday.

Tips Summary

Brighton or Draw Double Chance
Saturday 7th May, 12:30 GMT
Odds:  -133

Burnley to beat Charlton
Saturday 7th May, 12:30 GMT
Odds:  -189

Huddersfield v Brentford – Over 2.5 Goals
Saturday 7th May, 12:30 GMT
Odds:  -143

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