STAR PREVIEW: Aston Villa v Middlesbrough

Right thinking, wrong bets last night. Frustrating to get the feel for a Fulham win but their failure to lead at HT and less than 2.5 goals led to a losing night 🙁

We find out tonight whether Aston Villa or Middlesbrough will meet Fulham in the play-off final at Wembley AKA the ‘richest game in football’ !!

Boro will need to do a ‘Fulham’ and turn over their first leg 1-0 deficit but it’s much harder for them with them now meeting The Villains on their home soil.

Villa’s manager Steve Bruce is confident home advantage will count for plenty. He said: “We’re at Villa Park, I’m sure it’ll be rocking, it should be a wonderful atmosphere.

“We’ve got an advantage, the crowd can hopefully play their part, but it’s a big tie still ahead.”

However, the Boro faithful will take comfort from the fact they won 2-0 here in the regular season and a similar scoreline will get the job done.

Middlesbrough manager Tony Pulis told BBC Radio Tees: “I’m not concerned about Aston Villa, I’m more concerned about us and the way we play and what we’re trying to achieve.

“That’s the most important thing – that we turn up and we’re a little bit more clinical in the final third – that was the only real negative, apart from conceding from a set play, of the game on Saturday.

“The most important thing is them clearing their minds, making sure they’re focused and ready to go and they know their jobs and do their jobs.”

Aston Villa v Middlesbrough
Championship Play-Off Semi-Final 2nd Leg
19:45 Sky Sports Football / Sky Sports Main Event

HEAD TO HEAD RECORD
(Maximum 10 matches)
May 2018 CHAMPIONSHIP PLAY-OFF Middlesbro 0-1 Aston Villa
Dec 2017 CHAMPIONSHIP Middlesbro 0-1 Aston Villa
Sep 2017 EFL CUP Aston Villa 0-2 Middlesbro
Sep 2017 CHAMPIONSHIP Aston Villa 0-0 Middlesbro
May 2009 PREMIER Middlesbro 1-1 Aston Villa
Nov 2008 PREMIER Aston Villa 1-2 Middlesbro
Mar 2008 PREMIER Aston Villa 1-1 Middlesbro
Nov 2007 PREMIER Middlesbro 0-3 Aston Villa
Apr 2007 PREMIERSHIP Middlesbro 1-3 Aston Villa
Nov 2006 PREMIERSHIP Aston Villa 1-1 Middlesbro

Four match specials from starsports.bet tonight – the one that appeals most is a penalty to be awarded in the match at a boosted 4/1 (remember this is a 90 minute market) and I’ll also take a chance again at ‘over 3.5 match goals’ which can be backed at 15/4 tonight.

RECOMMENDED BETS (scale of 1-100 points)

BACK OVER 3.5 GOALS 5 points win at 15/4 with starsports.bet

BACK PENALTY AWARDED IN MATCH (STAR SPECIAL) 6 points win at 4/1 with starsports.bet

PROFIT/LOSS SINCE JAN 1 2017: PROFIT 133.43 points