Middlesbrough v Sunderland Predictions, Betting Tips & Previews
April 24, 2017
Wednesday 26 April – Riverside Stadium – Premier League
It’s a relegation decider at the Riverside on Wednesday evening, as Middlesbrough entertain Sunderland in the Tees-Wear derby. If either side loses then it’ll be curtains on their Premier League survival hopes, while a draw won’t do much good given the circumstances.
Two goals from Cristhian Stuani secured Middlesbrough a 2-1 win at the Stadium of Light earlier this season. Before that, the teams hadn’t met since October 2012, when Boro recorded another away win in the League Cup. A third straight win would give the home side a glimmer of hope in their relegation dogfight.
Gaston Ramirez misses out for the hosts thanks to his early red card at Bournemouth on Saturday. Rudy Gestede came on for the last ten minutes at the Vitality after a heel problem, but Marten de Roon limped off and is a doubt for this one. Fabio, his replacement on Saturday, is likely to start in his absence.
Sunderland have had an extra week off to prepare, and hope that’s long enough for Billy Jones to recover from the concussion he suffered late on against West Ham. Fabio Borini came on for the defender and scored a late equaliser for the Black Cats, but is likely to start on the bench again.
Middlesbrough v Sunderland Preview and Predictions
Middlesbrough’s capitulation against Bournemouth was a disaster for manager Steve Agnew, with both Hull and Swansea recording important victories. The Teessiders start this game nine points from safety, while Sunderland are 12 points adrift. David Moyes’ side do have two games in hand, but survival looks way beyond his team.
This is Middlesbrough’s game in hand over their fellow relegation strugglers, making it an absolute must-win. Boro are still without a Premier League victory since before Christmas, with Agnew picking up just two points from a possible 18 since taking over from Aitor Karanka. Despite their awful form, the hosts start this game as 13/10 favourites to pick up a vital win.
Sunderland’s card appears to have been marked for some time now. They’ve been dreadful since Christmas too, picking up just a solitary win since 17 December. Jermain Defoe’s goals have dried up too, which seemed to be their only hope of beating the drop. The visitors are 5/2 in the betting, while the draw is 12/5.
With the two clubs in last chance saloon, they could both really go for it in this local derby. This might mean the betting could be on some fireworks and a few goals.
Both teams to score at 20/21
Goals have been hard to come by for both teams, but their defences have struggled for clean sheets lately too. Back both teams to show a bit of pride for their supporters and get on the scoresheet. Or, go for a 0-0 stalemate at 9/1 if you think both teams will stay true to recent form and surrender their Premier League status with a whimper.
A sending off at 10/3
With Premier League survival and local pride at stake, there’s a fair chance this one could boil over.