There’s little to choose between the two sides as Championship play-off hopefuls Brighton and Middlesbrough go head-to-head at the AMEX Stadium on Saturday.
To be more precise, just five goals separate fourth-placed Brighton and fifth-placed Boro and three points for the home side would see them take a significant leap towards securing fourth position and an end-of-season play-off spot.
Gus Poyet’s men have bounced back from their first defeat of 2012 – against Blackpool – with a comfortable win over Derby followed by an away draw at Nottingham Forrest last time out.
Spaniard Vicente was in inspired form against the Rams, setting up both goals in the 2-0 win and going close himself on two occasions.
Indeed, Poyet claims his side would be “ten or 15 points better off” if the former Valencia man had been fit all season, and the winger could play a crucial role in unlocking Boro’s defence this weekend.
Boro’s most prolific period this season has been with between 46 and 75 minutes on the clock, while Brighton have a knack for scoring in the last 15 minutes of games, so more goals to be scored in the second-half at 5/4 is worth a punt.
The home side look a sure bet to at least get on the scoresheet having only failed to find the back of the net in 15.8 per cent of their home games this season.
The visitors boast a creditable away goal difference of plus one and will expect to get off the mark themselves, as their record on the road is superior to their efforts at the Riverside.
Over half (51.6 per cent) of their points this season have come away from home, as has 56.5 per cent of their goals tally. Both teams to score in the match (91/100) looks likely, but there are better options to exploit.
Boro’s most prolific period this season has been with between 46 and 75 minutes on the clock, while Brighton have a knack for scoring in the last 15 minutes of games, so more goals to be scored in the second-half at 5/4 is worth a punt, but only if you’ve a handsome figure to place.
Ultimately, expect Brighton’s home form and 2012 momentum edge it, but not without some graft.
The hosts to win 2-1 is a tidy price at 8/1, but reduce the risk of failure by choosing bwin’s 1X2 Result And Over/Under 2.5 special, backing Team 1 (Brighton) to win with over 2.5 goals scored at 3/1.
A successful £25 free bet on this outcome is set to return £100, with the free bet available to new customers who sign up for a bwin account.
Recommended bet: Brighton to win with over 2.5 goals @3/1
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