Swansea vs. Middlesboro
Back Swansea @4-6
Swansea have been highly competitive in the Premier League this season and fully warrant their position in the table based on their play. Their situation compared to that of West Brom’s makes interesting reading. West Brom find themselves 3 points ahead of Swansea yet have scored 2 less goals. Both sides have conceded the same number of goals. What is revealing is that Swansea have both produced and conceded an average of 14 shots at goal per game during their league campaign. In contrast, West Brom have had an average of 12 shots at their opponents’ goal but have had to absorb, on average, 16 efforts per game. In conclusion, Swansea are worthy of at least their position of 8th in the table despite a change in management in the Summer. As a consequence 4-6 about them beating a Championship team in this cup tie is at least fair. Their setback against Norwich on the weekend will serve as a timely reminder that each game has to be taken on its own merits.
Cordoba vs. Barcelona
Back Barcelona ‘MINUS Messi’s goals’ @Evens
Barcelona had to fight hard to see off a determined Betis side on the weekend and this was another reminder to an in-form side that each game starts at 0-0 and that reputation doesn’t give you a goal head start. Barcelona are chalked up as short priced favourites to win this game in the ninety minutes against a lower division side that hasn’t won in 6 games. Messi is the most likely source of goals in this contest but despite his massive contribution to Barcelona’s league campaign, his side would have still won 9 of their 15 encounters if his goals are subtracted from the final scores. Evens is an attractive proposition about Barcelona winning this tie comfortably with an all round team performance.