Whether you are up or down from Saturday’s betting activity, a punt on three odds-on favourites could be a profitable way to end the weekend. The treble on Sunderland, AC Milan and Palermo pays over 2/1.
Sunderland to beat Middlesbrough @ 57/100
Sunderland’s renaissance under Martin O’Neill continues apace with result after result and there is no reason why it should stop when Middlesbrough travel to the Stadium of Light in the FA Cup fourth round today.
The Black Cats have taken 16 points from 24 since the Northern Irishman took over from Steve Bruce – to give you some sort of indication of the turnaround, Sunderland had taken just 11 points all season prior to the change.
Their only defeats have been narrow, unfortunate 1-0 losses at both Tottenham and Chelsea and the O’Neill factor is in full swing. In-between their league engagements was a comfortable cup victory at Championship team Peterborough United and Sunderland will be confident of seeing off another side from the tier below in local rivals Middlesbrough.
Boro are in among the promotion picture in the Championship but have lost their way recently. Tony Mowbray’s side have not won in four league games, losing the last three while conceding eight goals in the process. It is not the form to be taking to such a buoyant outfit, especially when O’Neill will be taking the cup extremely seriously and will be playing a full strength line-up.
AC Milan to beat Cagliari @ 3/10
AC Milan remain right in the title mix in Italy and will be confident of continuing their bid for the Scudetto with a victory over mid-table Cagliari.
Milan are just one point behind Serie A leaders Juventus and have been on a fine recent run, a 1-0 home reverse to Inter Milan in their last home match the only time in 14 Serie A games the Rossoneri have been neaten.
That was Milan’s first home league defeat since December 2010, a run of 18 games. The previous six home fixtures were all won with just one goal conceded and an impressive 18 goals scored.
Milan have the best attack in the division (40 goals), the most clean sheets (ten) as well as the most wins and will be looking to turn 12 league victories into 13 against an average Cagliari outfit.
The Rossoblu lie in 12th place and have won just one of their last six games, scoring just four goals, and should pose Milan few problems.
Palermo to beat Novara @ 1/2
Poor old hapless Novara remain rooted to the bottom of the Serie A table and are unlikely to get any change from a trip to a Palermo side who have based their good season on solid home form.
Novara have taken just 12 points from their 19 games to leave them seven points from safety. It’s not an irretrievable situation, but their form has been so poor it is hard to make a case for them picking up many wins.
The Biancoazzurri have managed only two victories all campaign and haven’t won, or kept a clean sheet, on their travels in nine attempts. Seven of those games have been lost with 19 goals conceded and they will struggle to get any change out of Palermo who have been excellent at home.
Only Udinese have taken more points at home than Palermo, who have won seven of their nine games at Stadio Renzo Barbera scoring a divisional high 21 goals in the process. A slight sticky patch was ended with an emphatic 5-3 win over Genoa last time out and they should secure back-to-back wins here.
At odds of 103/50, punters who use their £25 free bet on this banker treble stand to win £76.50 if it proves successful.
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