A David Lopez penalty was enough to give Brighton the points against Millwall in the Lions’ Den last weekend and also keep alive Brighton’s play-off hopes.
The Seagulls are three points behind sixth placed Wigan but the Latics are in a rich vein of form and perhaps it is Nottingham Forest, without a win in four, who are looking over their shoulders.
Albion are currently 11/4 to finish in the top six and 9/1 to be promoted at BetVictor; between Oscar Garcia’s side in eighth and Wigan in the final play-off spot lie Reading and the Royals are the visitors to the Amex at the weekend in a vital game. The losers, if there is to be one, will not be mortally wounded in their challenge for promotion but it will certainly be more than a flesh wound and let’s hope it is Reading who are the vanquished.
Albion are Even money to pick up all three points and leapfrog a Reading side who were held, embarrassingly, to a 1-1 draw at home to Yeovil last time. You might think that is a bit harsh given the Glovers have picked up as many points on the road as at home so far this season but they ended the game with eight men and Reading were still unable to take all three points.
The Royals, who also missed a penalty last weekend, are 16/5 with the draw at 12/5. Jessie Lingard is 11/2 to score the opener with Leo Ulloa 7/2 and Adam Le Fondre, who missed that spot kick, 7/1. A 1-1 draw, which may not suit either side, is priced at 6/1 and another 1-0 win for Albion is 13/2. That might be the call although under 2.5 goals at 4/6 might be the safer option.
Leicester have shot clear in the title race in recent weeks and are 1/16 to win the Championship but the other two promotion places are up for grabs. Burnley (4/6), Derby (11/8) and QPR (15/8) are the bookmakers’ favourites but I think one of Wigan or Albion will not only reach the play-offs but get promoted. Three points against Reading is imperative.
The FA Cup Quarter Finals take centre stage and Everton’s visit to Arsenal on Saturday is the undoubted highlight. The Gunners have the opportunity of a quick double against the Merseyside giants having knocked Liverpool out, somewhat controversially, in the previous round. Arsene Wenger’s side are unbeaten in their last 13 in domestic competitions at the Emirates and have conceded only three times in that run but one of those goals was in the 1-1 draw between the sides back in December.
I think Everton can get a replay which is priced at 13/5 at BetVictor. The Gunners are 20/23 to make it through to the last four at the first time of asking with the Blues 17/5. If Everton are to cause an upset you feel striker Romelu Lukaku must have a big game and he is 7/1 to score the opener and 85/40 to net at any time.
The big game in the Premier League is the visit of Tottenham to Stamford Bridge and it is a game between the side with the most home points in the PL this season (Chelsea) against the side with the best away record (Spurs). It is 74 unbeaten home games and counting for the West London Club under Jose Mourinho and I can’t see this Spurs side bucking that trend. Chelsea are 4/7 for the win with Spurs 6s and the draw 3s.
For all your sorting odds check out BetVictor.com