Middlesbrough had been sitting confidently at the top of the Championship before losing 1-0 to Bristol City and 1-0 to Nottingham Forest. Manager Aitor Karanka needs to turn around this temporary blip and find a way to get his team scoring again if they are to claim the title instead of Hull City.
Goals have been an issue at times for Middlesbrough. Looking back to last season, Middlesbrough were unable to win promotion to the Premier League because they did not have an attack that could match the standard of their superb defence. Boro have been better at scoring this season, but their troubles have resurfaced again.
Over their first 14 home games, Middlesbrough scored only 20 goals compared to Hull’s record of 30. Meanwhile, Hull conceded six goals and Middlesbrough only three. Middlesbrough have also been less productive than promotion rivals Sheffield Wednesday (27) and Burnley (29).
Middlesbrough need to find a way to break through a Blackburn defence that held them to a 0-0 in late-December. Boro managed to create four shots on target, but proved to be wasteful in front of goal. Forwards Cristhian Stuani and David Nugent are the men to look to for goals.
Blackburn have been below average this season, but their away form has not been terrible. Conceding just 15 goals in 14 away games has allowed for Blackburn to attain the third-best defensive record in the league after 28 Championship games.
That sort of record would be good enough for promotion if Blackburn were not so poor at scoring. A measly return of 12 away goals would suggest that they are likely to be shut down at Middlesbrough’s league-best defence. Jordan Rhodes has been the only goal-scoring threat and he could be gone after the transfer window.
Middlesbrough v Blackburn Rovers – Championship 6 February 2016
Tip one: Middlesbrough @ 1.61
Tip two: Under 2.5 Goals @ 1.70
Middlesbrough have not found the back of the net in their last two league games, but they have the luxury of facing a Blackburn team that can barely find a goal outside of Rhodes.