Hertha Berlin 2.265/4 v Bochum 3.55/2, the Draw 3.55
Live on Betfair Live Video
Gameweek 21 in Germany’s top flight kicks off with two teams from the bottom half meeting in the capital on Friday night…
Tom Victor says: “Four games without a win have seen Hertha pulled back into the relegation picture, but a home game against one of the worst travellers in the Bundesliga can help them get some breathing room. Bochum’s away average of 2.33 xGA per game is the league’s worst, and three points for Tayfun Korkut’s hosts will be enough to lift them above their opponents and towards mid-table.”
Birmingham 3.9 v Sheff Utd 2.186/5, the Draw 3.45
Live on Sky Sports Football
Birmingham welcome in-form Sheffield United to the Second City on Friday night for an intriguing Championship clash.
Mark O’Haire says: “Birmingham boast a strong recent record against Sheffield United, suffering a solitary loss in the duos last eight league encounters (W3-D4-L1). That sample includes a 1-0 Blues triumph at Bramall Lane on the opening day of the current season, and the hosts have also claimed an excellent W6-D2-L1 return when hosting United at St Andrew’s since 1996.
“Birmingham have managed a solitary success in 10 outings across all competitions and only two Championship triumphs in 13 attempts dating back to the beginning of November (W2-D5-L6). Blues rank 22nd in terms of Expected Points (xP) across their last 12 league dates and have W3-D5-L9 when taking on teams outside of the bottom-10.
“Sheffield United appear to be finding their range after an underperforming and underachieving opening to the campaign. The Blades have W6-D3-L2 in outings since November’s international break with Paul Heckingbottom’s troops sitting fifth on Expected Points (xP) across the whole season. United have W10-D6-L4 when excluding the top-seven.”
Mark’s bet: Back Sheffield United 0 & -0.5 @ 1.865/6
Man Utd 1.364/11 v Middlesbrough 11.010/1, the Draw 5.49/2
Live on ITV1
Chris Wilder won at Old Trafford with his former club in the league last season, so can he do it with in-form Boro in the FA Cup?
Jack Critchley says: “Harry Maguire has praised the impact of Rangnick and although United haven’t quite clicked in the final third, their defensive record has undoubtedly been boosted following the managerial switch. The England international has spoken about the change of approach which has seen the club’s midfielders work harder to cover more space and close down the opposition quicker.
“This has taken the pressure off Maguire and his fellow defenders and has allowed them to concentrate on the basics. As a result, United have given away far fewer chances and have conceded just six times in their last eight outings.
“Middlesbrough have an xGA of just 0.99 across their last four Championship outings and have kept five clean sheets in their last eight matches. Preston were the last second tier side to score 2+ goals against the Teessiders back in mid-November and it appears as though Wilder’s unique style of play has been successfully implemented in an incredibly short space of time.
“Boro can slip into a compact back five when required and they will not make it easy for the hosts to break through on Friday evening.”
Jack’s bet: Back Under 2.5 Goals @ 2.1411/10
Getafe 2.1411/10 v Levante 4.47/2, the Draw 3.211/5
Live on Premier Sports 2
Getafe v Levante looks highly likely to produce a high card count on Friday night and our football props column is bidding to profit with 16/1 and 47/1 shots.
Andy Schooler says: “Levante sit second bottom of the fair-play table, having received a league-high five red card (and 57 yellows), while hosts Getafe are just one place better off and have a long-standing reputation for ill-discipline.
“The official in charge, Alejandro Muniz Ruiz, is the second-best carder in Spain’s top flight, averaging more than six cards per game.
“In this season’s only meeting with Getafe, he booked no fewer than seven of their players in a match which saw 11 cards in total. And when his path crossed with that of Levante, he showed them four cards in a game featuring eight in all.
“Basement-dwellers Levante will be desperate for points given their predicament and they’ll surely be targeting something from this game against a fellow bottom-five side.”
Almeira 1.774/5 v Ibiza 5.39/2, the Draw 3.814/5
Live on LaLiga Smart Bank YouTube
Kevin is also heading to Spain for his bet of the day, although this time it’s the Segunda Division.
Kevin Hatchard says: “Almeria are third in the table, but their promotion push has run into serious difficulty. The Rojiblancos have taken just a solitary point from their last five matches, and they haven’t won a game since the 11th of December. On home soil they have won just one of their last four.
“Ibiza let us down on Monday against Real Zaragoza, but I’m prepared to give them a second chance this week. New coach Paco Jemez has won three and drawn one of his four matches in charge, and it’s also worth noting that the team from the Balearic Islands has put together a seven-match unbeaten run on the road.”
Kevin’s bet: Lay Almeria @ 1.758/11