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Middlesbrough vs Stoke City Predictions

  • 14:00
  • Expired
  • Riverside Stadium
Middlesbrough
Stoke City

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Middlesbrough vs Stoke City Predictions

  • Middlesbrough have failed to win eight of their last 11 Championship contests.
  • Stoke have avoided defeat in seven of their last ten Championship matches.
  • Stoke have avoided defeat in ten of their last 15 away league games, winning six and drawing four. 

Boro and Potters picked the wrong strikers in January

Middlesbrough kept their promotion hopes alive with a 2-0 midweek win over Cardiff City at the Riverside Stadium, but they will probably need to be better to overcome a stout Stoke City on Saturday. Both of these clubs hit the loan market in a bid to add a prolific young striker in January and came up short with Boro’s Falorin Balogun contributing just three goals and Stoke’s Josh Maja only one. They will look at what Nottingham Forest and Preston got in return for their signings of Keinan Davis and Cameron Archer and perhaps rue their choices.

Balogun came off after 61 minutes of Boro’s Wednesday win and may get another run-out off the bench here, but however Chris Wilder chops, changes and combines his strikers in search of a potent pairing they don’t look like getting many goals. The Teessiders have scored fewer times than 17th-placed Bristol City and have notched only one more than 21st-placed Reading this term.

Stoke’s promotion hopes were defenestrated some time ago, but Michael O’Neill’s men have kept plugging away and don’t look like they will make things easy for their playoff-chasing hosts this weekend. The Potters have avoided defeat in ten of their last 15 away league games, winning six and drawing four – which would be top-six form had it been matched by better home results. 

Baker brings ingredients that can boss Boro’s midfield

O’Neill did make a really shrewd signing in January by recruiting Lewis Baker and he, alongside Joe Allen and Sam Clucas have the ability to get the better of Boro’s biggest strength in recent weeks – their midfield department.  So Stoke’s double chance price of almost even money looks appealing to us as Boro have won only three of their last 11 league games coming into this fixture.

Stoke also have a curious recent record of winning every time they play against a team in the top half that is still striving for something – such as QPR, Blackburn, West Brom, Sheffield United and Millwall – but losing to lower-end sides. This might be because they get caught on the counter-attack, but Boro aren’t particularly adept at that aspect of the game and do fall in to the same category as Stoke’s recent unwitting victims.

That’s why we will risk a smaller  stake on Stoke matching the scoreline from their last two games with a 1-0 win at the Riverside Stadium.

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