Middlesbrough v Nottingham Forest – Championship 23 January 2016
Middlesbrough fell to a surprising 1-0 defeat at Bristol City last weekend after winning four-straight games on their travels. Next up is a winnable home game for the title-chasing Boro, who need to rediscover their goal-scoring touch after delivering just four goals in their last four league games.
At the top of the table, Aitor Karanka’s team still hold a two-point lead over title-rivals Hull City. But Middlesbrough hold another advantage in the shape of a game in hand. Boro did lose last weekend, yet the expectation is that they should get back on track against a Nottingham Forest team that are 12th in the table.
Middlesbrough’s goal-scoring rate of 20 in 13 home games could be slightly better for a team that is top of the league. However, what works to their favour is that they have conceded only two goals at home for the season thus far. This incredible record has been pivotal in letting Middlesbrough climb to the top.
Nottingham Forest had been on an extremely poor run of away form until they managed to steady their course with four-straight draws. This has allowed for Forest to climb to 12th on the basis of away form. Their home form has been pretty good, but their away games have cost them. Unfortunately, they face at Middlesbrough team that is eager to atone for defeat last weekend.
To their credit, Forest have been decent in defending away from home. Their record of conceding 13 in 13 is not too bad for an away team positioned close to the middle of the table. However, their goal-scoring return of nine goals has limited their ability to snatch victories.
Tip one: Middlesbrough @ 1.53
Tip two: Middlesbrough & under 2.5 goals @ 3.20
Middlesbrough’s Bristol City means that Boro are available at decent odds of 1.53. Another interesting prospect is to combine a Boro victory with under 2.5 goals for 3.20. Boro are not prolific goal-scorers and rarely concede at home, so it could be worth considering the combined tip above.