Middlesbrough come into this one on the back of a dispiriting 4-2 defeat at the KCOM against a rejuvenated Hull side, and this loss to their relegation rivals leaves them five points behind the Tigers with a game in hand, and only three points clear of Sunderland. They can take some comfort from the fact that Burnley (their opponents this Saturday) are a notoriously poor side away from Turf Moor, but the hosts have lost five of their last six in all competitions and look set for the drop.
Burnley’s reputation for playing slightly dour football stems in part from their slow starts to games. They’ve been level at the break in 11 of their last 12, with eight of these 11 games seeing a 0-0 scoreline at half time, and they’ve not scored more than once before the break all season. Boro have been very parsimonious at home, shipping only 17 goals at the Riverside all season (which is only one more than Liverpool), but having scored the fewest goals at home of any top-flight side this term they will be praying that Alvaro Negredo (who scored their opener against Hull) turns up for this one.
Burnley have picked up only three points from 15 away games this term and we think they’ll struggle to create chances early on in particular, and given Boro’s dire scoring record at home this could be a very turgid affair. Five of the last seven between these two have gone under 1.5, and we’ll back that again here.
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