Nottingham Forest’s 1-1 draw at home to Watford on Saturday afternoon ended a run of three straight league defeats for Steve Cotterril’s side, who travel to the Riverside tomorrow to face a team who currently sit bottom of the Championship form table.
Having collected 13 points from a possible 15 throughout December, Middlesbrough are yet to record a victory this calendar year, with three draws and three defeats from their previous six league games, which has put a slight dent in their promotion bid.
Despite this poor run of form – whichhas seen them slip to ninth in the table – Tony Mowbray’s side head into the match as odds-on favourites at 17/20, with a rare Forest victory priced at 31/10, while a share of the spoils can be backed at 12/5.
Boro, whose match at Ipswich on Saturday was abandoned before the break due to a frozen pitch, will be looking for revenge having already been defeated by their opponents this season, going down 2-0 at the City Ground back in October.
This match should provide the perfect opportunity for the north-east side to get back to winning ways against a team who have struggled for goals this season, with Forest failing to find the net in 15 of their league games so far.
Like Forest, Boro have been far from prolific in recent weeks, scoring just five times in their previous seven league games, and with this fixture involving no more than two goals in the last five meetings, less than 2.5 goals in this one looks like a banker at 3/4.
A home win to nil at 2/1 looks appealing, then, particularly as Boro have managed to keep seven clean sheets in their 15 home league matches this term, with Forest notching just 11 goals in 13 games on their travels.
However, like Forest, Boro have been far from prolific in recent weeks, scoring just five times in their previous seven league games, and with this fixture involving no more than two goals in the last five meetings, less than 2.5 goals in this one looks like a banker at 3/4.
While Boro have found it difficult to see off the Midlands club at home in recent years, with the last seven league matches ending in a draw, Mowbray’s side should have just enough tomorrow to get their promotion hopes back on track.
It certainly won’t be as comfortable an evening as the table may suggest for Mowbray and his players, as Forest have picked up 13 of their 25 points this season away from home, but a narrow 1-0 Boro win at 23/4 looks a great bet.
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