Bournemouth looked to be enjoying a period of resurgence prior to their back-to-back losses against Chelsea and Spurs: they’d gone unbeaten in five and held both Man Utd and Liverpool to draws. As things stand, however, they are not completely out of the woods yet, and could find themselves mired in a relegation battle if they lose on Saturday to fellow strugglers Middlesbrough. Boro are without a win in eight in all competitions, six of which have been losses, but they do have a game in hand on Swansea City, who are four points above them in 18th.
Middlesbrough’s woes have been particularly severe away from home. They’ve not won away in the league since August, and their two goals against Hull were the first time they’d scored away from the Riverside in league play for six games. Furthermore, their form against bottom-half sides has been poor both at home and away: they’ve not beaten a bottom-half team since they beat Swansea at the Riverside, and they’ve failed to score in six of the last eight such games. They may, however, have more luck against a Bournemouth side that has shipped at least two in seven of its last eight at home, including against bottom-half teams such as Crystal Palace and West Ham.
Bournemouth have been pretty strong over the last couple of seasons at home against bottom-six sides, winning five and losing three encounters of this sort. While they’ve lost a couple recently against Sunderland and Palace, Middlesbrough have been sufficiently weak on the road to justify backing the home win.
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