A huge match in the Championship pits second place Middlesbrough against table-topping Bournemouth at the Riverside, with both parties well aware that they’ll sit the second-tier summit heading into the international break if they can snare the spoils.
As ever, there’s a medley of statistics tempting punters this way and that in the match-betting market, but one telling figure lends favour to Aitor Karanka’s hosts, who feature in our 8/1 treble alongside Leeds and Norwich.
Middlesbrough to beat Bournemouth @ 11/10
Boro head into this one undefeated in five at home, but this won’t frighten Eddie Howe’s runaway train of a Bournemouth team who have won seven straight in all competitions.
What may give the Cherries the willies though, is that across the previous six Championship matchdays the team at the top of the pile has failed to win.
The strength of this curse cannot be questioned, as it would’ve taken something special for Watford to lose at Birmingham last time out, but that’s exactly what happened.
Bournemouth’s hopes of a first ever win on Teesside and, indeed, remaining top of the pile heading into the latter part of the month, are dealt a huge blow in this knowledge.
Leeds to beat Blackpool @ 36/50
Neil Redfearn is still undefeated at home in his temporary capacity as Leeds gaffer, though is yet to win in his second spell.
Blackpool demonstrated signs of life in Lee Clark’s first match in charge against Fulham.
But the Whites couldn’t wish to face a better foe this weekend, knowing the Tangerines have been bested in six of nine road games so far this term.
Norwich to beat Nottingham Forest @ 6/4
Boro bashing last time out aside, the Canaries typically travel better than they host.
Prior to their mauling at the Riverside, the East Anglian outfit have won four of six on the road.