FA CUP FRIDAY: The Striker previews Friday’s FA Cup Fourth Round clash at Old Trafford between MAN U v MIDDLESBROUGH with a recommended BETDAQ bet.


8pm The winter break is well and truly over, and we kick off the FA Cup fourth round on Friday Night on BETDAQ Betting Exchange! We’re still on an International break really, but most leagues have decided to wedge in Cup fixtures this week given the backlog in the fixture list. We had Copa del Rey midweek, and now the FA Cup – there’s no rest for the big clubs! We have a fascinating fixture to kick the fourth round off as Manchester United host Middlesbrough.

There shouldn’t be any need to “rest” players here, but I would keep an eye on the team news as we could see some big swings in the market from a trading point of view. United might see this as a chance to play some of their fringe players and while Middlesbrough will be going all out to win, they are slap bang in the Championship Playoff race. Despite no signing in January, it hasn’t been a quiet time at Old Trafford. Anthony Martial and Donny van de Beek went out on loan to Sevilla and Everton; both seemingly unhappy with thri situation at Old Trafford while the last minute move for Lingard was blocked. I have to say I felt that was an odd one, but obviously Lingard features in Rangnicks plans going forward.

Prior to the winter break, United put in two improved performances to beat Brentford and West Ham. They controlled the game here against West Ham, and although they scored three times against Brentford they did give away a lot of chances. I have to say the jury is still out on this United team, and they haven’t really changed much under Rangnick. The same issues are still there. We felt it might up the effort and intensity but that hasn’t been the case. If anything there’s been a lot of stories in the press about the players moaning about training!

Middlesbrough are having a nice season in the Championship, and they will give United a good game here. When you look at the market, I can see a lot of punters are expecting a smooth United win but I feel the 1.36 is more than a little short on United. I fully respect the fact that there is a gulf in class between the sides and there’s a bit difference between 6th in the Championship and 4th in the Premier League but United just haven’t been themselves for a while now. Middlesbrough of course have to put in a fantastic performance, but they can get a result here. The 1.36 is definitely too short in my opinion.

It is very tempting to lay the 1.36, but I believe the better option here is Middlesbrough +1.5 goals at around 1.95. United just haven’t fired up front since Rangnick took over, and they have been grinding out wins rather than blowing sides away. I know they scored three against Brentford, but they still conceded a bigger xG than they created. Middlesbrough will come here to defend, and they can keep things tight – even if they lose I can only see it being by one goal so the handicap is a very good option here.

The Striker Says:
Two points win Middlesbrough +1.5 goals to beat Manchester United at 1.95 with BETDAQ BETTING EXCHANGE.

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