Tuesday night brings a host of league and knockout action to get our teeth into as the stakes climb higher in the FA Cup and EFL Cup.
Four-fold @ 8.04/1
- Birmingham vs Blackburn – Yes @ 4/5
- Luton vs Cardiff – No @ 4/5
- Crewe vs Stockport – No @ 8/11
- Newcastle vs Southampton – No @ 8/13
Birmingham vs Blackburn – Yes @ 4/5
Nothing separated Birmingham and Blackburn on Saturday and when the two sides meet again four days later in their FA Cup fourth round replay, there will be no room for nerves as the winner takes all.
Four goals were shared at Ewood Park in the weekend fixture and more goals could be in the offing, given that each of Birmingham’s last five games have produced three goals or more.
Similarly, both teams have netted in five of Blackburn’s last eight games and the pair will be keen to get the job done without the need for an additionally energy-sapping period of extra-time.
Luton vs Cardiff – No @ 4/5
Having fallen just short under Nathan Jones last season, losing out in the Championship play-off semi-finals, Luton are doing their utmost to defy the odds and are once again mounting a serious challenge to reach the Premier League.
Sitting in seventh, they take on a Cardiff City side hovering dangerously close to the relegation zone.
While the Hatters’ 35 goals so far this term have seen them outscore both Blackburn and Watford above them, no side has scored fewer goals than the Bluebirds, whose meagre return of 21 seems to be the root of their problems.
One goal – in the 1-1 home draw against Wigan – from their last five Championship clashes tells you all you need to know about the Welsh side’s chances on Tuesday evening, when they will come up against a heavily favoured Bedfordshire host.
Crewe vs Stockport – No @ 8/11
Games in hand on all of the six sides below them in the table mean Crewe Alexandra momentarily have room to breathe in League Two, but unlike Tuesday’s visitors Stockport, their hopes of reaching the play-offs are surely over.
County are 12th but sit just four points from seventh with a game in hand, putting great importance on their short midweek trip. Fortunately for them, Crewe have flattered to deceive in recent weeks, scoring just twice in five games and three times in their last seven.
Stockport may have failed to score in their two games last week, but given they have 35 goals to their name this season from 26 games – a far better return than their opponents’ 20 from 24 – the travelling support should not be alarmed, with the night match an excellent opportunity to find a rhythm once again.
Newcastle vs Southampton – No @ 8/13
One goal proved the difference in the first leg of the EFL Cup semi-final between Newcastle and Southampton and if we are to judge each side’s recent results, a goalfest looks unlikely in the return fixture.
The Magpies have kept four straight clean sheets and have conceded just once in their last 11 competitive matches, with Brentford the last team to net at St James’ Park back on October 8th.
Southampton overcame Blackpool 2-1 in the FA Cup on Saturday but failed to score in either of their two matches preceding that tie – against Newcastle and at home to Aston Villa in the league.
Trailing 1-0 from the first leg, Saints face an unenviable task against a defence that has conceded just 11 goals in 20 Premier League games.