Middlesbrough play Chelsea in the delayed F.A Cup Fifth Round tonight with a place in the quarter finals up for grabs.
On first viewing, that price of 9/20 is not something that appeals given Chelsea’s form under Benitez, so we are looking elsewhere for some betting value in this match.
After looking nailed on for a promotion for most of this season Middlesbrough have hit a wall of poor form, winning just once in their last six matches. At home Boro have won two and lost three of their last five matches (one of those wins was a 2-1 win over League Two Aldershot in this competition), however before that they had won eight of their previous nine matches.
Middlesbrough’s defensive record of late is a major concern, conceding eight in their last five matches at the Riverside, but scoring in all of those ties. That makes both teams to score (31/40 with Bet Victor) a sound looking bet.
The Chelsea soap opera goes on after scraping past Sparta Prague in the Europa League and a 2-0 defeat by Manchester City. In the last round they needed a late Torres goal (yes, really!) to salvage a replay at Brentford before eventually strolling past them with a strong second half display to win 4-0.
Away from home Chelsea have won just one of their last six matches, that was the 1-0 win in Prague in the Europa League and included the 2-2 draw at Brentford in the last round. This run has included two 2-2 draws and a 3-2 defeat.
Given both sides’ recent records, the brave thing to do would be to back goals tonight, and lots of them, making over 3.5 (6/4 with William Hill) appeal.
The correct score markets are also a haven for big prices tonight, a 2-2 draw is 25/1 with Coral, a 3-2 Chelsea win is 28/1 (Stan James) and a 3-2 Middlesbrough win is 66/1 (Stan James).
Finally in the goalscorer markets, it would be foolish to ignore Chelsea’s best player by a country mile this season, Juan Mata. He is a 7/4 (Coral) shot to score anytime in the match and that is a bet we really like the look of.
Over 3.5 goals – 6/4 with William Hill
Correct score – Chelsea win 3-2 (28/1) or Middlesbrough win 3-2 (66/1) with Stan James
Juan Mata to score anytime – 7/4 with Coral
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