Lays of the Weekend: Brighton vulnerable to cup exit

Oscar Garcia has led Brighton to seventh in the Championship

Michael Lintorn picks out three attractively priced away lays from three countries this weekend...

"Brighton have lost three and won zero of their last four away cup tests, two of those against lower-league teams (a 0-3 at Swindon and 1-1 with Wrexham)."
Lay Brighton to win away to Port Vale @ 1.9520/21

Lay Brighton to win away to Port Vale @ 1.9520/21
The play-off-thirsty Seagulls have been impressive Championship travellers this season, losing just four times, but two of those came in their three road trips since Christmas, and they aren't as solid away in the cups. Brighton have lost three and won zero of their last four such cup tests, two of those against lower-league teams (a 0-3 at Swindon and 1-1 with Wrexham). Port Vale meanwhile are on course for their highest league finish in a decade, partying in eighth in League One on their return to the division. Their home form has been the foundation on which their top-half challenge has been built. They are unbeaten in six at Vale Park, winning three of the last four.

Lay AC Milan to win away to Cagliari @ 2.021/1
Any belief that Clarence Seedorf would instantly eradicate AC Milan's problems was disproven in midweek as the Rossoneri lost at home to lowly Udinese in the Coppa Italia, blocking another route to Europe. Their sole domestic away victory in ten 2013/14 tries was earned at bottom club Catania, and they have taken a point from an available nine since, against the second worst side in Serie A, Livorno, so there is little incentive to back them at evens at far more capable Cagliari. The Sardinians haven't been at their best recently, going winless in five, but they lost just two and those were their only blemishes in nine league outings, while their defeat count as hosts this term stands at a slim two.

Lay Bayer Leverkusen away to Freiburg @ 1.84/5
Though 14 league places and 23 points separate this pair, there was evidence of them drawing closer before the winter break. Leverkusen withdrew their title challenge with successive defeats after just two in their first 15 Bundesliga games, while Freiburg pulled away from the bottom two with a first home win of 2013/14 against Hannover. The five-week breather may have eroded some of that momentum, yet it is logical to expect a team in transition like Freiburg to improve with greater cohesion in the second half of the season. They haven't lost their first match after Christmas since 2010, which was the only time that happened to them in their last ten top-flight campaigns.

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