Middlesbrough cup magic means they should batter Brentford
Brentford have not beaten Middlesbrough for 50 years, and the Teesside team have put four past the Bees in their last two meetings. After Aitor Karanka masterminded a famous FA Cup victory away at Manchester City last time out, Coral make Boro 6/4 favourites for another win.
Odds of 14/1 say the visitors will get four or more goals once more, though punters may be tempted by three or more at 9/2. The Bees, meanwhile, trail Middlesbrough by a point in the Championship promotion race and are 15/8 to end their half-century wait for victory. A draw comes in at 23/10.
Karanka, a protege of Jose Mourinho, has been hugely impressive in his first head coach role, and his Boro side have lost just twice on the road (not including the League Cup penalty shoot-out defeat to Liverpool) since August. He has used his links with Real Madrid and Chelsea to great effect.
Latest Middlesbrough signing Adam Forshaw has joined from Wigan Athletic in time to be involved in advanced midfield areas against his former club. Karanka is likely to keep faith with Lee Tomlin, however, who has three in as many matches and is 2/1 to net again anytime.
Expect Boro to be bold and play with two up front here. Loan star Patrick Bamford, who was on target in the reverse fixture back in September, has opened the scoring in both of their last two, so is great value to break the deadlock once more at 11/2.
Ghanaian winger Alberto Adomah (10/3 in the anytime market) and Middlesbrough penalty taker Grant Leadbitter (11/4) also netted in the 4-0 Riverside win, so are worth considering as well.
For Brenford, leading marksman Andre Gray (5/4), Spanish attacking midfielder Jota (7/2) and Spurs loanee Alex Pritchard (7/2) are their main dangers, but Boro boast the best defence in the division and have conceded half as many goals as their hosts.
That tightness, coupled with the euphoria of knocking the reigning Premier League champions out of the FA Cup, makes Middlesbrough attractive to win to nil at 18/5 on Saturday lunchtime.