Leagues Tipped:

Monday, 7.45pm, live on Sky Sports 2

THERE'S little time to sit and back and reflect ahead of the second legs of these Championship play-offs with the rapid turnaround but Brighton will be favourites to reach the final with home advantage after the first leg ended goalless much to our delight having tipped it up at 10.5 on here.

Gus Poyet's side finished top of the form table for the final nine games of the Championship season and are now unbeaten in 10 after Friday's draw.

They have yet to lose at the Amex Stadium in 2013, winning seven and drawing three of their 10 home fixtures. Albion ran out convincing 3-0 winners when the sides met here in March but this is unlikely to be as one-sided as that game was. Leonardo Ulloa should have scored in the first half at Selhurst Park and will give the visitors' defence plenty to think about.

Palace were unable to make home advantage count in the first leg and their away record doesn't inspire much confidence for this one with just one win on the road in all competitions since November 10.

Of course, you can argue they don't actually have to win as they could progress on penalties after a draw but it might be clutching at straws. Crucially, 30-goal striker Glenn Murray won't play after injuring his cruciate ligaments on Friday.

All the known form suggests Brighton should win this second leg and reach Wembley and even allowing for the unpredictable nature of the play-offs and the rivalry between these two sides, at 1.98 that's a price well worth taking on the Seagulls.

Albion's class should show through over 90 minutes but it might take a while so if you prefer to look for slightly more value draw/Brighton look good value in this market.

Recommended Bets

Back Brighton to win at 1.98

Back draw/Brighton in the half time/full time market at the best available price

Milesey (Betfair)

11 Comments
  1. ellis 7 years ago

    its tough being a Leicester fan, anyone watch that?!?!

    • Mr Fixit 7 years ago

      Ellis, that was incredibly bad luck but you’ll get over it.

    • Milesey 7 years ago

      Brighton v Crystal Palace
      Monday, 19:45pm (Live on Sky Sports 1)

      Brighton clash horns with rivals Crystal Palace at the Amex Stadium for the right to contest the Championship playoff final against Watford at Wembley Stadium.

      With the tie nicely poised after a 0-0 draw in the first-leg at Selhurst Park last Friday evening, Brighton host Palace on the south-coast looking to earn a shot at reaching the Premier League for the first time in their history.

      Nothing could be separated from their initial meeting in South London, but Brighton appear the rightful favourites for this important encounter.

      Ian Holloway’s Palace are set to miss their top-scorer Glenn Murray for the trip to the Seagulls after the 30-goal frontman was stretchered off in the first-leg having suffered an expected knee ligament strain. That is a huge blow to the visitors chances given he has scored nearly half of the club’s total goal tally during the league campaign (73). Manchester United-bound team-mate Wilfried Zaha will be expected to stet up to the plate in Murray’s enforced absence, and the 20-year-old’s performance will be crucial to how the match unfolds.

      Brighton are in far better form than their opposition however, having gone unbeaten across their last 10 outings. The Eagles did beat Gus Poyet’s side 3-0 at home earlier in the season, but Brighton reversed that scoreline in the corresponding fixture at the Amex, and having conceded just 17 goals from 23 home matches this season look rock solid on their own patch.

      The coastal club will hope to record their fifth clean sheet in seven against Palace, who have won just one game in 11. Argentinian striker Leonardo Ulloa poses the greatest goal threat for the hosts, having struck 10 goals in 19 games since joining Poyet’s squad in January. He also bagged a brace in the last home encounter with the Eagles. Kazenga Lua Lua also scored twice in the final-day win over Wolves that send the West Midlands side down to League One, and he could find the net off the bench if he doesn’t make the starting eleven, which he didn’t in the first-leg.

      While Brighton must overcome a dangerous counter-attacking force in Crystal Palace, home advantage will help their cause to win at 1.85, and their defiant defence can keep out the away side on route to victory with a Win To Nil priced at a juicy 2.87.

      Recommended Bets

      Back Brighton to win at 1.85
      Back Brighton to Win To Nil at 2.87

      Milesey

    • Milesey 7 years ago

      COME ON BRIGHTON ! 1-0, 2-0 in the second half would be great,

      Recommended Bets

      Back Brighton to win at 1.98

      Back Brighton to Win To Nil at 2.87

      Back draw/Brighton in the half time/full time market at the best available price

      Milesey

  2. Milesey 7 years ago

    LAY OF THE DAY
    ———————

    HJK Helsinki are odds-on for their trip to Lahti this afternoon but the Finnish Veikkausliiga champions could be in for a difficult match.

    Lahti have made a solid start to their league campaign with five points from their opening four fixtures. They are 10th of 12 but they have games in hand and it won’t be long before they’re much higher up the table. The Finnish season traditionally begins with the League Cup and Lahti actually ended up lifting the trophy at the beginning of April, so they clearly have a decent set of players.

    Tommi Kautonen’s side fell to a 2-0 defeat at Inter Turku last Thursday but prior to that they beat KuPS at home. That was their only league game at Lahti Stadium this season and they’ve traditionally been strong there, finishing last year with nine wins out of 10, including a 3-0 drubbing of today’s opponents.

    HJK are back on top of the pile even at this early stage of the campaign. They haven’t performed well in the cups though as they were knocked out of the Suomen by RoPS and the League Cup at the hands of JJK.

    Sixten Boström is the new man in charge this year and the pressure is on to deliver the club’s fifth straight league title. He’s opened up with three wins and two draws but they were held to a 0-0 at home last week and they also drew at Inter Turku seven days previous. Even though they won the league last term they were prone to poor results on the road, including a spell where they picked up just four points from a possible 21.

    HJK may go on to win this match but I wouldn’t want to be backing them at odds-on. Lahti are a decent outfit, so with Helsinki trading around the 1.86 mark, I have to make them my lay of the day.

    Recommended Bet
    Lay HJK Helsinki v Lahti @ 1.86

    Milesey

  3. Milesey 7 years ago

    COPA FINAL BUILD-UP
    ———————————-

    Reports that Atletico Madrid forward Radamel Falcao will move to newly-promoted Monaco in the summer are the talk of Madrid ahead of a derby clash in this week’s Copa del Rey final…

    In football, everything is connected; which is why Monaco securing promotion to Ligue 1 on Saturday, the same day that Frank Lampard broke Chelsea’s all-time scoring record, was significant.

    The coach that signed Lampard to Chelsea, Claudio Ranieri, is Monaco coach and earlier in the day had laughed off report that Monaco had secured the signature of Radamel Falcao for next season (Ranieri, meanwhile, may be replaced by Roberto Mancini, whose Manchester City side lost the FA Cup final on Saturday).

    As for Falcao, it is an open secret that the Colombian will leave Atletico Madrid after two prolific seasons in the Spanish capital: in his first year, he top-scored as the club won the Europa League, his second in as many seasons, and this season has excelled as Atletico have secured third place and a spot in next season’s Champions League.

    In his two seasons with Atletico, Falcao has scored 69 goals in 87 games; were it not for Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, he would be top scorer in Spain as well.

    On Sunday night, Falcao scored against Barcelona for the third successive time, but his opening goal was cancelled out by late efforts from Cesc Fabregas and a Gabriel Fernandez own goal; the result secured Barcelona’s Liga title win and kept them on track to equal Real Madrid’s 100-point record haul from 2011.

    Falcao’s scoring record is why Chelsea, Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain all want to sign the 27-year-old this summer. In a market where there are not many top-class strikers who might be available – only Edinson Cavani and, maybe, Wayne Rooney, could be on the market – Falcao stands out. He is as close as you can get to a guarantee of goals; and the deal with Monaco, while denied by Atletico, will help his negotiating position when it comes to other clubs.

    Monaco, reported L’Equipe on Saturday, has agreed to pay Atletico the full €60m release clause in his contract and is the only club among his suitors that have agreed to pay him the €10m annual salary he has demanded; the fact that Monaco is a tax haven has given them an advantage that the French football league is trying to overturn. As a Principality, Monaco’s tax-free status has become a huge talking-point of late.

    After a recent meeting between French FA (FFF) president Noel Le Graet and Monaco’s owner, the Russian billionaire Dmitri Rybolovlev, the club sent out a press release claiming the FFF, to whom Monaco had appealed, had demanded €200m as a compensation payment to French clubs to resolve the tax issue. The FFF responded the same day insisting that “it was Monaco who had proposed a payment of €200m in a timeframe and a manner yet to be determined”.

    If Monacao do sign Falcao, they would instantly become credible challengers to the expected dominance of PSG in Ligue 1. In a poll revealed in L’Equipe on Monday, readers were asked if PSG, who clinched on Sunday night, would retain the crown next season: 91 per cent said ‘Oui’. That number might decrease if Falcao lands in Monte Carlo.

    The Colombian once admitted that he could draw a diagram of every goal he has ever scored. “I never think I’m not going to score, I never panic, I never start to worry,” he has said. “I believe I will score. I just know, no matter how long I have to wait, that the goal will come.”

    This week, he will hope to prove that again as Atletico take on Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey final first leg. Atletico are 6.4 to win the game, with Madrid 1.51.

    The underdogs, who have not beaten their city rivals since 1999, are 3.85 to take the trophy, and ensure that Jose Mourinho ends his last season in Madrid, who are 1.89, without a title. Mourinho, it has been reported, also wants Falcao if he takes the job at Chelsea

    Milesey

  4. Milesey 7 years ago

    ROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONEY
    ———————————————————-

    Wayne Rooney’s demand to leave Manchester United has grabbed the morning headlines, getting away from Old Trafford might not be so simple.

    If there was an award for analyst of the season it would go to Gary Neville. Incisive on Sky, using all the gadgets and gizmos to a purpose, he constantly gets to the heart of what’s gone right and wrong for any given player or team.

    So it probably shouldn’t have come as much of a surprise that it was Neville who nailed in one sentence of just seven words the central issue surrounding Wayne Rooney’s transfer request. “He’s 27 and there’s nowhere to go,” he said.

    And that’s about it. As Carlos Tevez discovered a year ago, it’s all very well saying you want to leave a massive club, but finding another one to go to isn’t so simple. Rooney’s contract is said to be worth some £250,000 a week and in the age of Financial Fair Play there aren’t too many who can match that, never mind give him the rise that his agent Paul Stretford would no doubt try to negotiate for him.

    Falling out with Sir Alex Ferguson, for a second time, has made many people assume that England’s star player will automatically be gone. The price for the No option in Betfair‘s Rooney to Stay market is as low as 1.76. But as Sir Alex himself said, it will no longer be his decision. And then you come back to the key question: Where can he go?

    Across Europe he could move to maybe Real Madrid or Barcelona, perhaps to Bayern Munich, maybe to Anzhi Makhachkala in Russia. Paris St Germain might be a possibility, but then the French Government are still talking about a 75 per cent income tax rate so that means he’d have to earn £375,000 a week just to stand still.

    Then there’s Chelsea. The word is that Jose Mourinho would like to bring Rooney into the team as his first signing. At half the price of Fernando Torres he’d be a bargain. You could see him feeding eagerly off the creative supply from Oscar, Juan Mata and Eden Hazard. But then the problems begin.

    The money they will make out of this week’s appearance in the Europa League final is peanuts compared to what was earned last season out of winning the Champions League. They have spent £43million on six players in the current financial year and would have lost £22million the year before but for a smart accounting trick writing off the value of some BSKyB shares. Buying out Mourinho from his Real Madrid contract could cost up to £17million. So how could spending £25million and a bucketful of wages on Rooney meet UEFA’s new Financial Fair Play rules?

    And even if Roman Abramovich can afford lawyers and accountants cute enough to swerve that problem, there’s another hurdle: Why would United sell to one of the handful of clubs who could realistically challenge them for the title? At the end of the Fergie era they need to keep as smooth a transition as possible, to give David Moyes the very best chance to win his own first Premier League so that the Old Trafford dominance remains unbroken.

    Rooney is being encouraged to go away with England, enjoy playing in friendlies against Ireland and Brazil, have a holiday, and rethink his future. He’ll meet Gary Neville and natter with him during that time. If he listens he might just see sense before Moyes even has to talk to him.

    Milesey

  5. Milesey 7 years ago

    Arsenal v Wigan (Tuesday, 19:45, Sky Sports 1)

    No FA Cup winning team has ever been relegated in the same season
    You have to feel for Arsenal’s opponents. Traditionally, winning an FA Cup was the crowning glory to the domestic season, the last say on proceedings and a major triumph to be celebrated champagne-style long into the night. Not so anymore. Having claimed the famous cup, massive underdogs Wigan were under instructions to keep the party strictly Irn-Bru, as they still have two more must-win cup finals in Premier League to give themselves a chance of survival. However, after such an energy-sapping game on the Wembley turf, a trip to the Emirates becomes all the more daunting. Arsenal are only second behind Chelsea in the form table, having picked up 14 points from their last six games. Given their own huge motivation to win, combined with that extra freshness, the Gunners should have enough to seal Wigan’s fate in the latter stages.
    Recommended Bet: Back Draw/Arsenal in Half-Time/Full-Time @ 5.1

    Arsenal have scored more counter attack goals than any other Barclays Premier League team this season (7)
    There are not many sides better equipped to counter attack than Arsene Wenger’s Champions League-chasers. Arsenal have genuine pace in wide areas with the likes of Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain or even Gervinho, depending on who the Frenchman decides to deploy. It took a controversial penalty to settle matters at the DW Stadium earlier in the season but, even on that day, Arsenal were able to exploit the space behind Wigan’s pushed-on wing-backs. Essential to Arsenal’s attacking threat that day was Walcott, the winner of the penalty and a man in form again ahead of this one. Arsenal’s top scorer this season has notched the first goal on his last two Premier League starts and will be sure to pose Wigan serious problems once more.
    Best Bet: Back Theo Walcott to score first @ 6.2

    Arsenal’s last four Premier League games have gone under 2.5 goals, with three of them going under 1.5 goals
    Despite their good form, it’s fair to say that Arsenal have not been imperious in victory. Recent wins over Fulham and QPR were achieved by just a single-goal margin, while two other home draws against the champions and Everton respectively produced just a solitary goal in their favour. Arsenal’s last four Premier League games have failed to reach the 2.5 mark, with credit due to their defence for keeping three clean sheets in that period, only beaten from the penalty spot. In their five previous away league games against the current top six this season, the Latics have not managed to register more than a single goal either. Arsenal will also still be without French striker Oliver Giroud, who serves the last of a three-match ban.
    Recommended Bet: Back Under 2.5 goals @ 2.88

    Milesey

  6. FATHEAD 7 years ago

    MY Best Bet:book Monday off work, cos whatever happens there’s gonna be an almighty party at the DW for the Villa game. Celebrating “Little Wigans” 8 years in the Prem ,a league cup final and the FA CUP. Quite a few ‘top teams ‘ ain’t done that in the last 30 years.

  7. FATHEAD 7 years ago

    Fixtures 2013/14
    Sat Championship Wigan v Barnsley
    Wed Europa League Inter Milan v Wigan
    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. RAWRGER 7 years ago

    recommended bet
    back brighton v palace game a draw over 90mins @ 12-5

    and real soiciedad(-1) @ 13-10

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