The final match of the Premier League weekend sees two of the promoted sides go at it in the Monday Night Football spotlight when Middlesbrough host Hull up at the Riverside. It goes without saying that this is a big match for both teams and the losers could really face an uphill task to stay up.
Middlesbrough go into this match with just one win since the second weekend of the season so their confidence isn’t going to be at all high and when you add to that the pressure and expectation on them to win this match it will be interesting to see how they respond and how they play.
Clearly the issue with Middlesbrough is obvious. In 13 matches this season they have scored just 12 goals so scoring has been a real issue but unlike some sides who are down the bottom of the table they are strong defensively. Only two sides have conceded fewer goals than them in the entire division so if they can find a way to score goals a good run of form may not be far away.
Hull now have one win in their last 10 matches and what promised to be a good season when they began it so well is in danger of becoming a real struggle. They won’t have much more confidence than Middlesbrough going into this match but at least they don’t have the pressure of being expected to win.
Just like their opponents in this one Hull City have problems finding the net. They have only done it twice in 13 matches but unlike Middlesbrough, the Tigers are shipping far too many and that is never a good combination. They need to find a way to be much tighter at the back but at the same time they need to find a goal threat too.
Middlesbrough will be without George Friend once again so Fabio is expected to retain his place at full back. Daniel Ayala is nearing a return from injury and he could also feature in this match.
Hull City have an issue up front. Dieumerci Mbokani’s dismissal in midweek means he is suspended for this one while Abel Hernandez and Shaun Maloney are rated doubtful. Will Keane is a long term injury victim. Sam Clucas returns from a ban.
This isn’t a nice game to bet on. I can understand the theory that with neither winning many matches recently the draw is a shrewd bet but I’m not one to back the biggest draw backer. I certainly can’t be backing Middlesbrough at odds on although given the importance of the game for them I do see them winning.
I always like a bit of value with my football punts and it could be that the best value in this one is for Middlesbrough to win to nil. Neither side score many but Boro don’t concede many either unlike Hull who are shipping goals and that could be the difference. The last three between these two at the Riverside have seen the hosts winning without conceding and while it might not be pretty here I think they can repeat that outcome.
WON – Back Middlesbrough to win to nil for a 3/10 stake at 2.63 with Boylesports
BORO 11/1 OR HULL 7/1
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BORO 33/1 TO WIN
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