Birmingham v Brighton
If Brighton find the scoresheet, you suspect they will take something from the game but the Seagulls have played out five goalless draws on the road this term and they’ve also had to come to terms with the demoralising effects of conceding late on against leaders Burnley. So the mood might be relatively flat in both camps, although that probably suits Birmingham.
Opposing Chris Hughton’s men isn’t a course of action to be taken cheaply, mainly because of their incredible capacity to score the opening goal. But this is the sort of game that could develop into a war of attrition settled by a set piece late on and the 4/1 available on Birmingham to win to nil is also worth pursuing. Nine of their last 12 wins have arrived by this method.
Middlesbrough v Huddersfield
Middlesbrough are back in the driving seat for automatic promotion after crowning the return of Aitor Karanka with successive wins over Hull and QPR but the Teessiders have been riding such an emotional rollercoaster lately, you do worry for them in games of this nature when the cameras disappear and routine wins are expected.
Boro have suffered defeat against bottom-half opposition no fewer than seven times (in 21 matches) this term, failing to score in six of them, while Huddersfield have a blueprint that serves them well on the road. If the visitors break the deadlock, they've shown themselves to be very adept at killing teams off and the 0-2 correct score is well worth chancing at 33/1.
Dagenham v Morecambe
The Shrimps have taken just 20 points from the past 25 matches, so there’s virtually nothing to separate these two sides over a five-month period, with Jim Bentley raising concerns last week that uncertainty over club ownership is undermining his plans for next season and the ambition of current players out of contract in the summer.
After such a promising start, this could yet be Morecambe’s worst campaign in nine seasons as a League club, so there’s added mileage in backing Dagenham -1 on the handicap at 6/1. This will be the fourth meeting between these two sides this term, Daggers having prevailed by a 4-2 scoreline in an FA Cup first round replay last November. So they know they have it in them.