The Midweek football action continues to come thick and fast, with teams chasing European qualification and playoff places among the combatants up and down the English pyramid.
A surprising Manchester United away stat, a leading card collector on a leading team of card collectors and mid-table side refusing to succumb to the lure of their flip flops inform our selections.
Midweek Football Predictions
Check out the latest football odds from Betzone
Soaring Seagulls a fair price for FA Cup revenge
At first glance even money may not seem a great price about Brighton besting Manchester United at the Amex, but on closer inspection there’s plenty enough evidence to make a persuasive case.
The Seagulls have beaten United on the south coast in three of the five seasons since they were promoted to the Premier League. This season they’ve yet to lose to United, winning 2-1 at Old Trafford last August before going out on penalties in the sides’ recent FA Cup semi-final clash.
Robert De Zerbi’s men put that disappointment behind them by spanking Wolves 6-0 last time out and can now devote all their energies to converting the three games they have in hand on some of the teams around them into points.
The visitors have lost away to every member of the current top nine they’ve played so far this term bar Tottenham, where they gave up a 2-0 half-time lead to draw 2-2.
Proceed with (backing Cottager for a) caution at Anfield
Liverpool have been the darlings of the overs and BTTS backers of late with their last five games producing a whopping 25 goals and zero clean sheets. Unfortunately, this is reflected in skinny odds about more of the same.
The same can’t be said for the odds about another statistically compelling angle. Joao Palhinha has been one of the signings of the campaign for football purists and calculating card bettors alike, amassing an EPL high 12 bookings to date – including two in his last three outings.
Marco Silva’s men have been gritty guests all season and have now picked up 51 yellow cards in 16 Premier League away games, nine more than any other team in the division.
The loss of Palhinha’s engine room ally Andreas Pereira (who has eight yellows to his name) to injury against Manchester City will redouble the onus on the Portuguese man to handle the midfield spoiling duties at Anfield.
Crewe can confound Bantams’ bird in the bush
Bradford are one of three teams on 75 points in the League Two playoff places, with Mansfield lurking three points behind, poised to gate-crash the post-season if any of them slip up.
Fellow 75-pointers Carlisle and Salford have one game left to play but the Yorkshiremen have two. This is their game in hand and a 2-1 away win over third-placed Northampton last time out suggests they’re in the form to take advantage.
However, that success was only the Bantams’ fourth win in their last 11 games, as well as being their first three points in five attempts away from Valley Parade.
Lower mid-table hosts Alexandra have yet to show any signs of downing tools for the campaign, at least when playing in front of the Gresty Road faithful. They’ve won four and drawn one of their last five at home, including taking the scalp of Bradford’s fellow playoff chasers Salford.