Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Prediction: Manchester United vs Middlesbrough


Verdict: Man Utd to win to nil

Best Odds: 4/6

Bookmaker: bet365

Manchester United successfully kick-started their top 4 bid thanks to four straight victories and they will be hoping for more of the same when they face relegation-threatened Middlesbrough. Boro still sit four points clear of safety, but their performances of late have been pretty disappointing and they clearly face an uphill task at Old Trafford.

Manchester United

In spite of the heavy summer recruitment, Jose Mourinho needed a while to make this team his own, and just few weeks ago he was doing even worse than his predecessors David Moyes and Louis van Gaal. However, the Red Devils slowly started showing improvement and they are now playing their best football of the season. The manager’s decision to reintroduce Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Michael Carrick back to the side changed everything, while Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo are some of the other footballers that have seriously raised their game of late. Manchester United have now won five matches in a row on all fronts, while recording four straight Premier League victories, but they still sit four points behind Champions League positions. This basically means that the Red Devils need to extend their winning run for as long as possible, and they have been made overwhelming favourites to defeat Middlesbrough in their final fixture of the year. Manchester United have won six of their last ten meetings with Boro, losing just one of those matches as they crashed out of the EFL Cup last term.

Team News

In-form midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan should be recalled to the starting line-up, but captain Wayne Rooney is doubtful through a muscle problem.

Middlesbrough

The game at Old Trafford will see Middlesbrough boss take on his tutor Jose Mourinho for the first time since they worked together at Real Madrid. The Spanish tactician has since helped Boro gain promotion to the Premier League and he has done pretty well in his first season in England’s top flight. Karanka decided to reinforce his ranks with some experienced footballers he knew from his time in Spanish La Liga, while Gaston Ramirez and Calum Chambers have also been added to the squad. And while Boro have struggled for consistency, they have so far managed to win 18 points from as many league fixtures, making sure they remained above the bottom three. Middlesbrough do need to improve their home form if they are to avoid getting involved in the relegation dogfight, but the Riverside outfit have done even better than expected on the road. Boro lost just two of nine away fixtures this season, holding West Ham, Arsenal, Man City and Leicester City to draws among others, while defeating relegation rivals Sunderland. When it comes to their last few performances, Aitor Karanka’s side lost three of their last four Premier League games, failing to score in each of those defeats, which is definitely a cause for concern ahead of the trip to Old Trafford.

Team News

Summer recruit Victor Fischer is set to miss few more weeks through a knee injury, while Antonio Barragan is banned for the Man Utd game.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Man Utd are on a five-match winning run
  • The Red Devils are unbeaten in 12 home games (W8 D4)
  • Boro failed to score in three of last four matches
  • Middlesbrough suffered 1-0 defeats in last two away games
  • Man Utd won four of last six home fixtures vs Boro (D1 L1)

Conclusion

Manchester United are on top of their game at the moment and they have rightly been made hot favourites to see off Middlesbrough. Considering that Boro have failed to score in each of their last three Premier League defeats, we are backing the Red Devils to win to nil.

Verdict: Man Utd to win to nil

Best Odds: 4/6

Bookmaker: bet365

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