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Middlesbrough vs Aston Villa Predictions

  • 17:30
  • Expired
  • Riverside Stadium
    Aston Villa
      • Sky Sports Football

      odds when tipped

      odds when tipped

      Tip Reasoning

      Middlesbrough and Aston Villa both picked up a point in midweek, but the style of their stalemates couldn’t have been more different. Middlesbrough have the home advantage in Saturday evenings Championship action, where the best defence in the Championship plays host to the second highest scorers. Tony Pulis’ team sit five places and seven points ahead of Aston Villa, but the visitors arrive unbeaten in their last four matches and we’re expecting a close game between the pair this weekend.

      Preston North End deservedly took the lead against Middlesbrough in the latter stages of the first half of their Championship clash on Tuesday, with Browne taking credit for the goal and Barker claiming the assist. Middlesbrough lost striker Gestede in the twenty-seventh minute and replaced him with teenage midfielder Tavernier, and it was the youngster who levelled the scores just a minute after the restart for the second half. Boro lost another player to injury when Wing had to leave the field of play, but managed to hold firm to earn a decent point on the road.

      PNE had 59% of the overall possession, more shots, and more corners during the ninety minutes, but lacked the finishing touch in the final third and only have themselves to blame for not winning the game. With five goals in the Championship so far this season Assombalonga top scores for Boro, but the striker hasn’t scored in his last six appearances for the club.

      Abraham moved into double figures in league goals for Aston Villa this season, following his four goals in an epic 5-5 draw against Nottingham Forest on Wednesday. Ivory Coast international Kodjia has chipped in with five goals so far, but is yet to really get going this season.

      Villa had to come from two goals behind against Forest after Grabban and Carvalho had given the visitors a two goal lead inside the opening six minutes. Abraham responded for the hosts with two goals of his own in the space of three minutes to level the teams, all with just fourteen minutes on the clock. Cash briefly restored the visitors lead in the twenty-second minute, but Abraham made sure the teams went in level at the break when he completed his hat trick from the penalty spot.

      The second half continued in the same vein as the first with Lolley giving Forest an early lead, but Tobias Figueiredo was shown a straight red card for Forest in the seventy-first minute when Abraham netted his fourth of the match to make it 4-4. The next goal saw Aston Villa take the lead for the first time, when El Ghazi converted a Taylor pass in the seventy-third minute, but the hosts couldn’t stay in front and the ten-men of Forest earned a point thanks to a late strike from Grabban.

      Aston Villa were better than Forest in all departments, having more shots, more corners, and 68% of the overall possession, but another poor defensive performance cost the hosts on this occasion and we’re expecting Middlesbrough to be much harder to break down on Saturday. Both teams are in good form heading into the game which should make things interesting, but in this match of ‘defence vs attack’ we could see the two forces cancelling each other out.

      We’re confident that Saturday’s game will end in a draw and have backed the final scoreline to finish 1-1. The hosts have only conceded ten goals in the league this season, but Aston Villa have scored more than anyone else in the Championship so far, bar West Brom. Both teams are in the midst of an unbeaten run and Middlesbrough have drawn three of their last five Championship matches.

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