Middlesbrough v Sunderland Betting Predictions – Back a Draw at 11/5 with Coral
When Middlesbrough were forced to reschedule their North-East derby against Sunderland because of an FA Cup tie against Manchester City last month, they will have earmarked it as a huge opportunity for three vital points in the race for Premier League survival.
But results have failed to materialise and Steve Agnew’s men are staring down the barrel of a quick return to the Championship. Sunderland, too, look all set to join them. The pair are three points apart at the bottom of the league, with the Black Cats a stunning 12 points adrift of safety. A 4-0 defeat at Bournemouth on Saturday, coupled with wins for both Swansea and Hull, mean Boro’s hopes are fading fast. After Sunderland, they face games against Manchester City, Chelsea, Southampton and Liverpool.
Their biggest problem has been a failure to score goals and therefore win games this season. With 23 goals and just four wins, Boro are the lowest on both counts and it is tough to see them winning another game this season, having not done so since December.
Facing Sunderland may be their best hope. David Moyes’ side earned a point against West Ham in their last game but have looked resigned to the drop for a long time. They have had similar issues to their midweek opponents when it comes to looking dynamic in attack. Usually, their main tactic is playing Jermain Defoe up front with Victor Anichebe and hoping to get the England man in behind the defence. With the lack of creative quality in the side and space afforded by Boro’s midfield, that may be the best option.
Middlesbrough have now conceded 3 or more goals in a single game for the sixth time this season.— Squawka Football (@Squawka) April 22, 2017
Leaking goals. pic.twitter.com/dZUkKIqFDu
As for Boro, a major criticism has been the lack of involvement for Adama Traore from the start of games. He epitomises the frustrating footballer, mainly because of his poor end product, but his presence on the pitch gives the whole team a lift because he is so exciting with the ball at his feet. With quality so minimal in games like this, his inclusion could be the difference.
But in truth, this game matters very little to the relegation picture anymore and neither side should be made a clear favourite. You can back a tie with a great price of 11/5 via a free bet at Coral bookmakers.