Preston North End made it 11 games unbeaten inmidweek, coming from behind to win 2-1 at the Riverside midweek, and move to within two points off a play-off place in the Championship table.
The Whites were cut to 11/2 to achieve a top-six finish this season and 25/1 to be playing Premier League football next season; I’ve seen much worse prices!
Alex Neil’s side have a never-say-die attitude that has seen them continually recover points from losing positions and with confidence oozing out of the Whites’ first team squad, I expect them to prolong that winning feeling when hosting Birmingham at Deepdale on Saturday; PNE 11/10 favourties with 32Red, the Blues 5/2 and the draw 9/4.
Paul Gallagher is like a fine wine, he just keeps getting better, netting his 100th PNE goal with a sublime free-kick at Boro midweek, and can add to his tally against the Blues. Gally is 12/1 to break the deadlock at the weekend however, I much prefer the 11/2 for him to score in a PNE win.
After his heroics at St Andrew’s in what was described as ‘The Happiest day of his life’ all eyes will be on Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish as he leads his side for a must-win ‘32Red Derby’ with Middlesbrough on Saturday.
Villa’s ‘Roy of the Rovers’ netted the winner 25 minutes from time as Dean Smith’s side won the Second City Derby last weekend, just an hour after being attacked by a Blues fan in a sickening sight for all involved with the game.
Villa will be boosted by the return of Grealish’s centre-midfield partner John McGinn, and I expect the hosts to be tough to beat in front of a full-house in the West Midlands; Villa 5/4 favourites with sponsors 32Red, the visitors 5/2 and the draw 9/4.
Grealish ensured a 1-0 win for Villa at their most loathed rivals, and 32Red are 7/2 for Villa to once again win without conceding at the other end.
The double-result market has 10/3 to be leading at both half-time and indeed full-time, but Villa often spring into life in the second-half and I’d be more inclined to back them at 11/2 to score three or more goals.