Lays of the Weekend: Middlesbrough and Inter to stall

Aitor Karanka has led Middlesbrough back within play-off range

Michael Lintorn flits between Teesside, Italy and Portugal to find his latest three must-lay favourites...

"Just three of Middlesbrough's eight home dates with teams placed 12th or lower have ended triumphantly."
Lay Middlesbrough to beat Charlton @ 1.865/6

Lay Middlesbrough to beat Charlton @ 1.865/6
After a jittery start, Middlesbrough are starting to see the benefits of Aitor Karanka, their first ever foreign boss, who has won four of his last five Championship fixtures. Only two of those victories arrived at the Riverside though, where Boro often frustrate their expectant fans. That has been in evidence this season, with just three of their eight home dates with teams placed 12th or lower ending triumphantly. They exited both cups there, to Accrington and Hull's second string. Charlton don't win enough, but have lost one in six away to bottom-half rivals, and drew at the Riverside last term.

Lay Inter to win away to Genoa @ 2.0421/20
Inter's plan to while away 2013/14 laughing at AC Milan has been jeopardised by their own pitiful winter, abandoning their Champions League bid with one Serie A win in seven - against their hapless neighbours - and evacuating the Coppa Italia. The Nerazzurri have won three of their 10 away games in all competitions, two at the very start of the campaign, while their three victims belonged to Serie A's bottom six. By contrast, Genoa are top-half dwellers, their revival under Gian Piero Gasperini fuelled by fierce home form. They have lost none of their six at Marassi since his September return, winning four.

Lay Rio Ave to beat Belenenses @ 2.1411/10
A glimpse of the Portuguese top-tier table might convince you that Rio Ave should really be odds-on against promoted opponents loitering three points off the bottom. This column boards a different train of thought. Rio Ave's mid-table station suggests security, yet they are only six points above Belenenses, are winless in seven as hosts since a matchday two success - losing six - and have won just three in 13 at all venues. Belenenses' lowly platform meanwhile is a result of opening with four defeats. Since then, they have been beaten three times in 11 outings, accumulating a laudable six clean sheets.

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