Martin O’Neill is a busy man. Not only has he turned around the fortunes of a formerly despondent Sunderland side, but he has also found time to set up a local orphanage, devise a theory that solves the mind-body problem and successfully negotiate the release of several Chinese dissidents.
Ok, maybe I’m exaggerating, but if recent media portrayals are to be believed, O’Neill can do no wrong. His impact so far at Sunderland is undeniable, with the Black Cats having won six of their last nine games, making them the Premier League’s form team alongside Manchester City.
Middlesbrough, by contrast, have won only two of their previous six and are starting to slide down the Championship table, making a Sunderland win at 13/20 in bwin’s 3way betting market seem a fairly safe bet.
However, if there’s one game that Boro should have no problem motivating themselves for, it’s this FA Cup tie on Sunday.
In the north-east’s footballing triumvirate, Middlesbrough jostle for position with both Sunderland and Newcastle, but it’s with the Black Cats that Boro feel they share their main rivalry.
Sunderland should really continue their revival considering the strength of their home form since O’Neill took charge, with three wins and a draw out of four games making for an impressive start.
It’s fair to say that such fervent animosity is scarcely reciprocated and with this in mind, Tony Mowbray’s side may just have the mental edge over their opponents. Bwin offers odds of 10/1 on Middlesbrough stealing the game in the second half after a first-half deadlock.
The recent history between the two teams doesn’t go far in endorsing this view, however, with Middlesbrough having won none of their previous four games against Sunderland.
They did manage a 1-1 draw at the Riverside in the most recent encounter back in January 2009 and are at 11/2 to repeat the scoreline this time around.
Saying that, Sunderland should really continue their revival considering the strength of their home form since O’Neill took charge, with three wins and a draw out of four games making for an impressive start.
What’s more, the Black Cats have only conceded three goals in their last six games, while Middlesbrough have only scored four times in the same period. Placing your free £25 bet for signing up to a bwin account on Sunderland to win 1-0, 2-0 or 3-0 at 7/4 would bring a return of £68.75.
And considering the statistics mentioned above, this certainly looks to be the best way to go on to get some value out of a probable victory for O’Neill’s men.
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Messianic Martin’s Makems too much for Mowbray’s Middlesbrough