Middlesbrough v Man City – Riverside Stadium at 12:15 live on BT Sport 2
For my Asian Handicap preview this Saturday, I turn my attention to the FA Cup quarter finals. Middlesborugh and Man City go head to head in the early kick off at the Riverside Stadium looking to book a place at Wembley for the semi finals.
It’s been a tough season so far for the Teesiders, currently occupying 18th place in the Premier League, 3 points behind Palace in 17th.
They have registered the fewest wins in the league with just 4 from 27 games. Their last being against Swansea before Christmas, 11 matches ago. Since then they have drawn 4 and lost 6, two of those coming from their most recent outings.
Boro are also the divisions lowest scorers, finding the back on only 19 occasions, 5 fewer than 19th placed Hull and bottom of the table Sunderland. They are also without a goal in their last 4 league games.
Even at home they have struggled for goals this season, having only scored more than once just twice this term.
All of Aitor Karanka’s victories this year have come in the FA Cup, defeating Sheffield Wednesday, Accrington and Oxford. They’ve had a home tie in each of their 4 matches so far. It’s fair to say they’ve had a kind draw. Still, this competition has been something of a relief to their relegation battle, but I can’t see them going any further.
The Citizens will have been disappointed to draw 0-0 with Stoke in the EPL on Wednesday night which means they remained in 3rd place. A win would have seen them go 2 points above Spurs in second and close the gap on Chelsea to 8 points. I expect that result to inspire them on Saturday though.
City have been drawn away from home in every round of the FA Cup this season. They needed a replay against Huddersfield in the last round, but got the job done at the Etihad, winning 5-1. This came after a 5-0 over West Ham and a 3-0 victory over Crystal Palace. Making their aggregate score in the FA Cup this term 13-1.
Pep Guardiola’s men seem to actually prefer life on the road this season, earning 30 points, compared to 26 in front of their own fans. They are also the league’s highest scorers away from home with 30 goals in 14 matches and haven’t conceded in their last away fixtures in all competitions.
On current form, it’s no surprise to see the visitors come into this match as short as 1.43. The hosts are on such a bad run of form, I can’t see anything other than a comfortable away win.
When the two sides last met in November, it ended 1-1. But City have only got better since then and Boro worse.
If City can grab an early goal here, I can see them going on to win this one with ease, just as they did against West Ham, Palace and the replay against Huddersfield.
I expect an easy route through to the semis for the Citizen’s. At 1.99 -1.25 on the Asian Handicap market they offer some real value.
Asian Handicap Recommendation: Man City -1.25 at 1.99
Prices correct at time of writing.
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