Brighton moved onto the fringe of the play-off places with their excellent 2-0 win at the Cardiff City Stadium midweek; yes the hosts and league-leaders will feel hard done by but there have been many occasions this term when the Seagulls did not get what their play deserved and this was very much a case of one against the head.
Manager Gus Poyet was fulsome in his praise of keeper Tomasz Kuszczak (scrabble score?), suggesting: “we were fortunate to get Tomasz as I think he is a Premier League player... hopefully he keeps giving us performances like that. If you are going to achieve anything... you need a good goalkeeper.”
The Seagulls boss hadn’t been well ahead of the game but as first-team coach Charlie Oatway said this was just the tonic he needed ahead of Saturday’s visit of Burnley to the Amex. Brighton are 23/20 for the win at BetVictor with the Clarets 13/5 and the draw at 5/2; the Lancashire side sit mid-table and haven’t won in four games although they had previously had a decent run under new manager Sean Dyche.
Burnley have picked up five Championship wins on their travels already so Poyet and all Seagulls’ fans will know they are in for a tough game but with the play-offs in mind it is a game they need to take maximum points from.
Clarets’ Charlie Austin took the Championship by storm at the start of the season but Palace and former Seagull Glenn Murray is now 2/7 favourite with a six-goal lead over Austin who has cooled off in recent months and is now 7/1. Austin is 19/4 to score the first at the Amex but I like the look of Jose Ulloa at 11/2 at BetVictor.
Cardiff remain ¼ for the Title with Brighton now back to 7/1 to be playing in the Premier league next season and 6/4 to make the top six; note we are the only firm offering a price for a top six finish.
England are back in Six Nations action this weekend when they entertain France at Twickenham; we have a couple of enhanced accas including offering 2/1 for England, Wales (in Rome) and Ireland (at Murrayfield) to all win their respective international.
England are 10/11 at BetVictor giving Les Bleus an eight-point start with Wales the same price giving the Azzurri the same start in Rome. England are 10/11 to land the Grand Slam and with Italy and Wales to come it would be some achievement.
The Capital One Cup Final at Wembley sees Bradford City make their first appearance in a Major domestic final since 1911 when they beat Newcastle United after a replay in the FA Cup Final; they are only the second team from the fourth tier of English football to reach the League Cup Final (the other, Rochdale, lost 3-0 to Norwich in 1962) and are 9/1 at BetVictor to win in 90 minutes, 16/1 to lift the Trophy on penalties and 33/1 to win in extra time.
Swansea are 4/11 to win in 90 minutes and 1/6 to lift the trophy by whatever means. If Swansea get ahead they are a very hard team to beat but they will have to make the running at Wembley and the Swans have not scored away from the Liberty Stadium since early January, when they beat Chelsea courtesy of two gifts from Branislav Ivanovic.
That said Bradford have won only two of their last 11 games in all competitions, losing seven.
Bradford have won their last nine penalty shoot-outs – a record for any English club, and the 16/1 for a Bantam win on penalties is already proving popular. Wigan and Arsenal have been beaten on penalties already... what about Swansea for a 16/1 hat-trick?
We are betting 66/1 for Swansea to win the Europa League and 5000/1 for Bradford: note we WILL be refunding all bets on this market if your selection does NOT qualify for the Europa League.
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