Middlesbrough vs Oxford predictions and FA Cup betting tips for this weekend’s fixture on Saturday 18th February including the best odds and free bets to spend.
League One Oxford United will be trying to add another North East scalp to their name as they travel to Middlesbrough in this FA Cup 5th round fixture. They knocked out Newcastle United in the last round; can they cause an even bigger upset?
Middlesbrough have won two games in 2017 and they have both been in the FA cup and this shows what a poor run of form they have been in and they look destined for a relegation scrap. They are very good defensively but they struggle to create chances and score goals and this will have to be addressed if they are going to remain in the top flight this season. They have beaten Championship side Sheffield Wednesday and League two Accrington Stanley to get this far and with the draw being favourable to them again, they will fancy themselves to reach the quarter finals for the first time in over 5 years.
Oxford United started their FA cup journey in Merstham in early November and since then they have scored fourteen goals in four ties in this competition including three against Championship leaders Newcastle United. Kane Hemmings has scored five goals already in this campaign and the Boro defence will have to be wary as he is in good form this season scoring fourteen goals in all competitions so far this season. The Oxford United manager Michael Appleton said after the game against Newcastle that his side is built for attacking rather than defending so I think the League one side will have a go on Saturday and give the Premier League side a better game than they have in the previous two rounds where they have comfortably progressed.
My first Middlesbrough vs Oxford betting tip is going to be for both teams to score in the match. The odds are very favourable due to Middlesbrough not being involved in many high scoring games and their last match was a 0-0 draw against Everton but I think the mind-set will be different for Aitor Karanka’s men as it is a FA Cup match. Oxford fired three past Newcastle so I think they are more than capable of grabbing a goal and I would expect Boro to get on the scoresheet being the Premier League side. Odds for both teams to score are 21/20 with William Hill.
My second FA Cup betting tip for this match is going to for the second half to have more goals than the first. In the seven games that these two sides have had in this season’s FA Cup the second half has produced more goals than the first in six of these occasions with the other being a 0-0 draw for Oxford in the 2nd round. I think the game could be quite cagey in the first half but I expect it to open up in the second half and all the evidence points to more goals being scored in the second half. Odds for this are 23/20 at Betfair.
My third and final Middlesbrough vs Oxford betting tip is going to be in Sky Bet’s ‘Total goals, corners taken and booking points’ market. For this betting tip to win, we will need over 1.5 goals, over 8.5 corners and over 25 match booking points. In the last round, both games that involved these sides had the booking points and corners and I think the price for this to happen is too good to turn down. Sky Bet are offering 2/1 for there to be over 1.5 goals, over 8.5 corners and over 25 match booking points and this completes by FA Cup predictions.
The Premier League side will be without George Friend as he is a major doubt with a calf injury and Patrick Bamford will be hoping to get his first goal since returning to the club following his permanent move from Chelsea. Kane Hemmings will be hoping to return to the Oxford United starting line-up as he was a substitute in their 2-0 defeat to Southend in midweek. Toni Martinez scored a debut goal in the last round and has looked lively whenever I have seen him play.
This will be the first ever meeting in cup competitions between the two sides but they have met four times previously in the league. The most recent meeting was in 1998 where Middlesbrough ran out 4-1 winners and in all four meetings between the sides both teams have scored so could that be a good omen for Saturday.
Middlesbrough are short priced favourites for this match and are 1/2 for the win with most bookies. The draw is 15/4 with Bet365 and an Oxford United win is best priced 7/1 with Bet365. If you do fancy the Premier League side to win and fancy better odds then Middlesbrough to be winning at HT and FT is 13/10 with Coral or a Middlesbrough win with both teams to score is 5/2 with Bet Victor.
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