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Ibet: Tight First Leg Could Be On The Cards At Falmer Stadium

Gareth Purnell

Championship Play-Offs, first leg: Brighton v Derby County, kick off 7.45pm, live Sky Sports 1

Back the draw at 12/5

Only four sides have drawn more Championship games than Brighton this season and a stalemate looks a live runner in tonight’s first leg play-off tie against Derby County. The Rams were 9/1 for promotion at the start of the season according to EasyOdds.com, but they are the division’s highest scorers and have found the net 29 times more than their semi final opponents Brighton. However, Brighton’s strength lies as the back and with this being a two-legged affair, ninety minutes is effectively only half time and it could easily be cagey.

Derby County are the form side going into the play-offs, having won five of their last six matches, and that run has prompted bookmakers to make them 23/10 favourites for promotion, ahead of Wigan at 11/4, QPR at 13/4 and Brighton at 7/2. However, it should be noted that only two third-placed sides have been promoted through the play-offs in the last five seasons, and that Steve McLaren’s side have only won three of their last 11 matches away from home. Derby won both of the meetings between the two sides this season, 2-1 at the Falmer Stadium and 1-0 at Pride Park. But Brighton are unbeaten in their last eight, drawing four of them. A first leg stalemate between these two teams could be the way to go at around 12/5.

Advices

French football club Clermont have taken on former Celtic scout Helena Costa as their manager, prompting Irish bookmaker Paddy Power to start taking bets on when the first woman in charge of a club in a top division of European football. Costa is now the highest-profile female manager of a European men’s team, having coached Iran women’s team since 2012, but the odds suggest it will be a while before a woman makes her way to the elite level.

It’s 5/2 for it to occur before the end of next year, with 7/4 for 2016 or 2017, and a much likelier 2/1 that it will be 2018 or 2019 before a female is appointed to a top division team in a European country. The year 2020 or later is priced up at 7/2 by the Irish bookmaker.


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