Football: Sports betting - Sheffield Wednesday fair value to beat Blackburn

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The Independent Online
Sheffield Wednesday, who gained a highly creditable 2-1 victory at Leeds United in their most recent Premiership game, are a fair bet at 7-4 with Ladbrokes and the Tote to beat Blackburn in their FA Cup fourth- round tie at Hillsborough tonight.

The Owls have a 50 per cent record at home in the Premiership this season and their only injury doubt for this game is Swedish international Niclas Alexandersson, who has been receiving treatment all week on an ankle problem sustained in the win at Leeds, while fellow midfielder Graham Hyde starts a two-match ban for an accumulation of bookings.

Blackburn, who beat Aston Villa 5-0 at Ewood Park nine days ago, will be no pushovers, but they will be missing suspended Garry Flitcroft, while Gary Croft, Lars Bohinen and Martin Dahlin are all injured.

Blackburn have only a 36 per cent record away in the Premiership this season and those statistics suggest they are worth opposing at the odds.

Liverpool look a banker bet at 1-2 with William Hill and Ladbrokes to beat Middlesbrough in the first leg of their Coca Cola Cup semi- final at Anfield tomorrow evening.

Roy Evans' men put in a solid all-round performance to beat Newcastle 1-0 at home in the Premiership last week, but Middlesbrough seem to have lost their form a bit of late.

Disappointingly held 1-1 by Ipswich in the Nationwide League First Division at the Riverside Stadium last week, Middesbrough went down 2-1 to Arsenal at home in the fourth round of the FA Cup on Saturday.

In the first half on Saturday, an Ian Wrightless Arsenal ruthlessly demonstrated that, while adequate for the Nationwide League, Boro's defence remains poor by Premiership standards.

Under the sort of bombardment the strikers Michael Owen and Robbie Fowler, and the attacking midfielders Steve McManaman and Oyvind Leonhardsen, promise to deliver, Boro will surely capitulate.

Chelsea, who beat Coventry 3-1 in the Premiership at Stamford Bridge nine days ago, can upset Arsenal in the first leg of their Coca Cola Cup semi-final at Highbury on Wednesday.

Arsenal have an impressive 63 per-cent record at home in the Premiership this season, but Chelsea's away strike rate during this campaign is a highly laudable 50 per cent. That just about makes Chelsea the value at 9-4 with the Tote.

Team C H L T

Sheff Wed 13-8 13-8 7-4 7-4

Draw 11-5 2-1 2-1 2-1

Blackburn 11-8 6-4 11-8 11-8

Liverpool - 1-2 1-2 4-9

Draw - 12-5 12-5 13-5

Middlesbrough - 11-2 11-2 6-1

Arsenal - 11-10 11-10 Evens

Draw - 9-4 9-4 9-4

Chelsea - 2-1 2-1 9-4

C - Coral, H - William Hill, L - Ladbrokes, T - Tote