No Goalfest Expected In The Championship Playoff
Derby take a valuable one goal lead into the second leg of the Championship playoff semi-final against Fulham and today Middlesbrough host Aston Villa in their first match. Derby just sneaked into the playoffs by finishing sixth in the table but a precedent has been set for the team that earns the last place going all the way to the Premier League. If a team ends the season in form or with positive results momentum and confidence can count for a lot but conversely a team out of form will struggle in the fixtures that matter most. Any lead going into the second leg at this stage is worth its weight in gold and DERBY are now 11/4 with William Hill to get promoted to the top tier of English football.
Middlesbrough finished a place and seven points behind Aston Villa in the regular season. They have home advantage in the first leg and an opportunity to make an immediate return to the Premier League while Villa lost their top flight status two seasons ago. The visitors from Birmingham are managed by Steve Bruce who has guided two teams out of the Championship into the Promised Land of the Premier League. Tony Pulis manages Boro and he has also achieved two promotions to the top division. Any of three results in today’s match is feasible but an open match with plenty of scoring opportunities is unlikely. Therefore, if betting on the fixture Under 2.5 Goals is the best option at 1/2 with Ladbrokes.
The Epsom Derby takes place in three weeks but plenty can happen in the remaining trials. The Dante Stakes at York next week is the most significant prep-race but it will take a massive performance to overhaul Saxon Warrior as the favourite for the most prestigious Flat race in the sport. Lingfield stages their Derby trial today on the course that is similar to Epsom. Kew Gardens is the favourite but that could be more to do with the fact that the horse is trained by Aidan O’Brien than proven form on the track. O’Brien has won the race four times since 2008 but CORELLI is preferred to Kew Gardens and you can back that horse at 4/1 with Betfair.