Verdict: Over 1.5 goals
Best Odds: 4/11
Hoping to widen their buffer at the top of the Championship table this weekend, Burnley will welcome Middlesbrough to Turf Moor on Saturday afternoon.
Starting with the hosts, while Burnley might have lost their Premier League status last season, the Clarets have their sights set on securing an immediate top-flight return this time around. Only continuing to gain a string of plaudits since appointing former Manchester City icon Vincent Kompany over the summer, the Lanchshire-based outfit should find the mood in their camp at a red-hot high. Last seen putting in another stellar display as they cruised their way to a 3-0 romp away at QPR, they have also found a route to the top of the Championship table. Now holding a three-point buffer over the chasing pack, Burnley have remarkably lost just one of their previous 22 matchups across all formats – a run that stems all the way back to August 12th. Likewise, gaining a reputation for their free-scoring displays, Kompany’s side have bagged at least a pair of strikes in each of their last six appearances.
Bagging nine Championship strikes this season, Jay Rodriguez will once again spearhead Burnley’s attack on Saturday afternoon. The 33-year-old is likely to be joined in attack by Southampton loanee Nathan Tella this weekend.
Still away with Morocco at this winter’s World Cup, Anass Zaroury will not feature here.
As for the visitors, while Middlesbrough might have just missed out on a play-off spot last season, Michael Carrick’s men are in the midst of what has become a real purple patch. Last seen marking their return to action with a last-gasp 2-1 victory at home against Luton, the former Manchester United coach really appears to be enjoying life at the Riverside. Finding a route into the top-half of the Championship table, Boro are unbeaten in each of their last five second-tier appearances. With that run highlighted by a shock 2-1 win away at promotion contenders Norwich on November 12th, Carrick’s side will be desperate to spring another upset this weekend. With some in their camp believing that they can make a late charge for the top-six, Saturday’s guests have also continued to shine with their displays on the road. In fact, it should be noted, Middlesbrough have won each of their previous three Championship away fixtures by an aggregate score of 8-2.
Racking up six strikes in his last eight Championship appearances, former Arsenal starlet Chiba Akpom will lead Middlesbrough’s attack at Turf Moor. Likewise, recording back-to-back second-tier goals, Matt Crooks will be hoping for a recall here.
Still dealing with long-term injury issues, Carrick will once again be without the duo of Darnell Fisher and Matt Clarke on Saturday afternoon.
Key Factors to Consider
- Burnley have lost just one of their previous 22 appearances across all formats – a run that stems all the way back to August 12th.
- Middlesbrough have collected 13 points from just their last five Championship matchups.
- Likewise, Saturday’s guests have also won each of their previous three Championship away fixtures by an aggregate score of 8-2.
- Burnley have bagged at least a pair of goals in their last six consecutive appearances across all competitions.
- On a run that has seen them bag 16 goals, the Clarets have won each of their last six showdowns at Turf Moor.
While Burnley might be in the midst of what has become a remarkable run of form, Kompany’s high-flying squad could face a stern test on Saturday afternoon. With Middlesbrough marking their return to action last weekend with a last-gasp 2-1 win at home against Luton, the Reds have skyrocketed their way up the Championship table. However, although Carrick’s new side might have continued to shine with their displays on the road, Burnley have continued on their own free-scoring run at Turf Moor. Two sides who have gained a reputation for their lively outcomes, we’re backing what could be an enjoyable affair in Lancashire.
Verdict: Over 1.5 goals
Best Odds: 4/11
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