Middlesborough v Nottingham Forest, January 23, 3.00pm
Table toppers and home side Middlesborough are odds on favourites in this fixture, they can be backed at 8/13. Nottingham Forest are biggest outsiders in this round of Championship fixtures, priced at 5/1. The draw is available at 13/5. The last time these played earlier this season Middlesborough came out on top and won 2-1.
Middlesborough are still sitting reasonably comfortably at the top of the table even after last weekends let down. They are two points clear at the top and have a game in hand over Hull who are in hot pursuit for the top spot. They will feel this should be a bit of a bigger gap as they lost out to relegation bound Bristol City last weekend, who stole the three points in the dying embers of the game. Nevertheless Middlesborough will have been working hard all week to rectify the problems they faced and every side that has a disappointing results has that extra bit of fire in their belly to redeem themselves next time around. They are already out of the FA Cup after losing to Premiership side Burnley and can now focus on their title winning efforts.
Nottingham Forest were business as usual last weekend, putting three goals past bottom of the league side Bolton. A decent win and an important three points. They are still 10 points adrift from the play-off places but have a lot of games to put that right if they can find a good run of results. They will be more than wary of the opposition they face this weekend but they have not been beaten since November. They are likely to try and do what Bristol City did to Middlesborough last weekend, absorb the pressure and try catch their opponents out on the counter attack.
I think it will be a tight game, tighter than the betting is portraying it as anyway. I still believe Middlesborough will bounce back to winning ways.
Middlesborough to win 2-1 – 15/2