Middlesbrough largely slipped under the pre-season radar with all the focus on big-spending Leicester and Big Sam’s West Ham, but Tony Mowbray’s men have made a fine start that can continue with victory at underachieving Burnley.
There would have been a time when you’d have baulked at the 7/4 about the Teesiders registering an away victory, but with two wins from two on the road this year they now look like a team to be trusted, especially against Burnley, who appear to be a team in transition and are difficult to back at just 29/20.
Boro, who sit in fourth on 11 points, have started this season like they finished the last, when their last final games saw six wins (three away from home) and three draws, scoring in every game.
A lack of transfer activity had hinted at a season of mediocrity, but continuity has worked wonders and Mowbray has his side playing the brand of football that won his West Brom sides gushing praise.
It’s a very different picture for Eddie Howe. The Clarets boss did a fantastic job at cash-strapped Bournemouth, but has found the step up to the Championship more difficult.
Burnley’s last outing was a fortunate win at Derby, their first of the campaign, and they are still integrating new players after the loss of key men Chris Eagles and Tyrone Mears.
The hosts, who sit 15th on five points, have drawn both their outings at Turf Moor thus far so the draw cannot be discounted at 11/5 in a match that is difficult to call, but it may be worth siding with a Marvin Emnes-inspired Boro.
It also looks like a fixture that will guarantee goals. Burnley’s Charlie Austin has netted five times this year already, while Emnes will surely have plenty of suitors in January if he maintains the form that has brought him four goals in Boro’s opening five league matches.
Furthermore, 65% of the Clarets’ home games and 57% of Middlesbrough’s away games last term had more than 2.5 goals, so odds of 4/5 on over 2.5 goals on this occasion is very tempting, while the 39/20 on four goals or more could also attract plenty of attention.
With this in mind, football betting fans looking for correct scorelines to back could do worse than have a flutter on 2-1 and 3-1 wins for Middlesbrough, which are priced at 35/4 and 19/1 respectively.
Punters receive a free £25 bet for joining bwin.com and using it on the latter outcome would see them win an impressive £500 if the result comes in.
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