It’s FA Cup quarter-final weekend, but our eyes are cast to an equally important set of Football League fixtures as we look to bash the bookies with this BTTS treble.
This weekend’s selections pay out at just under 5/1 at Bet365 and we’re hopeful that it will be the first of several Saturday winners in March.
Nottingham Forest V Middlesbrough
Goals have been the main theme of Dougie Freedman’s honeymoon period at Nottingham Forest and we’re not expecting them to dry up anytime soon as they welcome title-chasing Middlesbrough to the City Ground.
Unlike Forest, Boro haven’t found goals easy to come by in recent weeks but Aitor Karanka’s men are still in with a great shout of automatic promotion and a strikeforce of Kike, Patrick Bamford and Lee Tomlin will always have a chance – especially against a Reds defence that is still conceding frequently in spite of its recent improved results.
Nevertheless, the in-form home side will be eager to keep their rich vein of form going and will view a wounded Boro as the perfect opportunity to fire a warning shot to their rivals as they bid to launch a late push for the play-offs. Additionally, the Reds will be extremely motivated to make amends for a humiliation 3-0 Boxing Day loss at the Riverside and we’d expect them to carry a much greater attacking threat in this reverse clash.
Between them, the sides have hit a combined total of well over 100 league goals this season. Back them to both find the target on Saturday.
BTTS Yes @ 4/6 with Bet365
Crewe Alexandra V Scunthorpe United
Mark Robins’ Scunthorpe have been on the receiving end of some poor results over the past couple of weeks but a trip to Gresty Road signals a great opportunity to secure some much needed points as they look to confirm their place in the division next term. However, the Iron should expect a tough test from the spirited Alexandra.
Crewe are just two points behind Scunthorpe in the table and boast a pretty healthy home record, picking up seven wins and four draws from 17 home fixtures. They’ve also hit 17 goals in that period, although the 24 conceded is a cause for concern amongst Steven Davis’ men.
That is especially true considering the goal ratio of Scunthorpe, who have netted even more frequently than Crewe have conceded. The visitors will be looking to top scorer Paddy Madden for inspiration and will be confident going forward but, like the hosts, could be quite vulnerable at the back.
December’s reverse clash at Glanford Park was a BTTS winner and we think there will be another one here.
BTTS Yes @ 4/6 with Bet365
Cheltenham Town V Mansfield Town
Our final selection comes from League Two as struggling Cheltenham bid for a vital win against an equally poor Mansfield Town.
Neither side has enjoyed a particularly successful season and the threat of relegation looms over both. It was a 1-1 draw at the One Call in December and a similar scoreline might not be too unlikely here.
Cheltenham have scored exactly one goal per game from their 17 league matches at Whaddon Road, but they have conceded 21. Those defensive frailties will give hope to a Stags side that notoriously struggles for goals on the road, but the visitors will be worried by the fact they leak nearly two goals every away game.
We were tempted to back Cheltenham on the BTTS & Win market, but have instead opted to play it safe by simply backing the goals. If the visitors, who must view this as a chance for some rare away joy, score then we’ll be very confident in this selection.
BTTS Yes @ 10/11 with Bet365