Market: Over 2.5 goals at Middlesbrough vs Aston Villa
Odds: 8/5 @ Bet365
Aston Villa take a step into the unknown on Saturday when they play their first ever play-off match in the clubs history. In their debut, Villa will travel to The Riverside Stadium to square off against Middlesbrough.
For Tony Pulis’ Middlesbrough side, The Reds have enjoyed a late surge up the Championship table in order to secure their play-off position. Coming off the back of a 2-2 draw with Ipswich in their final game of the campaign, Boro are now unbeaten in their last four Championship outings and have scored two in each of those four appearances. One player to watch could be striker Britt Assombalonga, with Middlesbrough currently enjoying a fine run of form of late, the 25-year-old now has 15 for the season and two in his last three. The Reds also have a history of playing out dramatic outcomes when they face off against Villa, nine of the last 14 meetings between the two sides have produced an outcome of three or more goals.
As for Steve Bruce’s Aston Villa side, while The Villans season can best be described as inconsistent, Villa still remain one of the largest clubs in the division and comfortably secured a playoff spot with time to spare. Coming off the back of a 1-0 loss to Millwall in the final game of the campaign, Villa have now lost one in their last six and have scored 11 in their last six outings. While Boro have Assombalonga, Villa have their own center forward who is enjoying a late run of form. 30-year-old Lewis Grabban, who enjoyed a stellar start at Sunderland has carried on his form at Villa Park, Grabban now has 20 for the season overall and now has four in his last four.
Bet: Over 2.5 goals at Middlesbrough vs Aston Villa 8/5 in Saturdays Championship playoff 8/5 @ Bet365>>
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