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Tony Mowbray's men stand between the Blues and a high-profile quarter final against Manchester United, but Al Hain-Cole thinks that this match should be entertaining in itself

For those neutrals watching the draw for the FA Cup quarter-finals, there was no doubt that the tie of the round was delivered when Manchester United were matched up with Chelsea.

However, Blues fans cannot start booking tickets for Old Trafford yet, as their team must first successfully negotiate their belated fifth round clash against Middlesbrough, which takes place this evening.

A visit to the Riverside is seen as nothing more than a formality for the holders according to the bookmakers, with Bet365 offering odds of 11/25 (1.44) on them coming out on top in the north-east.

This is perhaps not surprising considering the hosts have only won one of their last six games, and are massive underdogs at 7/1 (8.00) to cause this season’s latest cup shock.

However, Rafael Benitez’s men have drawn three of their last six games on the road, so Boro may be optimistic of replicating Brentford’s feat of securing a stalemate in their own back yard, at odds of 39/10 (4.90).

The cups represent the Londoners’ only hope of salvaging a disappointing season, and they have certainly found plenty of joy in front of goal in this competition.

The visitors have scored 11 goals in their three ties so far, while Tony Mowbray’s side have hit six in just two fixtures so far.

A bet on over 2.5 goals to be scored would have paid out in eight of Chelsea’s last 12 in all competitions, and would also have been successful in nine of the last 12 for Boro, so cannot be ignored here, at odds of 4/7 (1.57), either as a single or as part of a multiple for those seeking bigger returns.

The only bright spot of the last few weeks for the Teesiders has been the emergence of Curtis Main as a genuine goal-scoring threat.

The 20-year-old striker has been on the periphery of the starting line-up since joining from Darlington two years ago, but has benefitted from an injury to Scott McDonald to force himself into the first-team picture.

With three goals in his last four outings, his impact has been instant, and he could be a canny outside bet at 3/1 (4.00) to hit the back of the net this evening.

BET
OF THE
DAY
BEST BET
VALUE BET
Over 2.5 goals at 4/7 (1.57) with Bet365
Curtis Main to score anytime at 3/1 (4.00) with Bet365

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Al Hain-Cole is a Liverpool fan, experienced tipster and avid follower of European football. He specialises in accumulators and if you would like to read more from Al you can follow him on Twitter here.

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