Swansea v Middlesbrough Match Predictions and Betting Tips
March 29, 2017
Sunday 2 April – Liberty Stadium – Premier League
Rudderless without Aitor Karanka, Middlesbrough face an uphill task against a Swansea side with problems of their own. Home advantage could make all the difference in this one.
Middlesbrough crushed Swansea 3-0 in the first edition of this fixture back in December, but it came after three defeats and a draw. The pair have met eight times in total, winning three apiece and drawing twice.
Gylfi Sigurdsson picked up a knock with Iceland on international duty, but should be fit in time to feature. Angel Rangel will still be missing from Paul Clement’s usual back four, but Martin Olsson should return from an ankle injury to take his place. Star man Fernando Llorente should be fit to lead the line, so expect the Swans to utilise width.
Steve Agnew could change shape in his second game in charge after failing to make an impact in the 3-1 loss to Manchester United a fortnight ago. With a full squad to choose from Boro’s 4-2-3-1 shape should remain intact, with more focus on star man Alvaro Negredo up front, with Victor Valdes and George Friend as the only other guaranteed starters.
Swansea vs Middlesbrough Preview and Predictions
Despite losing their last two games, Swansea remain favourites considering Paul Clement’s overall positive effect, while home advantage also counts for something. The Swans can be found at evens for the win, with the draw at 5/2.
Alvaro Negredo was always stifled in Karanka’s defensive system and could be the best way to unlock Middlesbrough’s potential, as his last experience in England saw him hit 24 goals across all competitions for Manchester City with severely limited game time, and can be found at odds of 13/2 to open the scoring. With many talented youngsters and relegation looming, so the Riverside faithful should enjoy it before their vibrant squad is ruthlessly dismantled this summer.
However, Negredo may not be the trump card Agnew would be hoping for, as Swansea have a strong Spanish forward of their own in the form of former Juventus man Fernando Llorente, and is favourite to score the opening goal at odds of 9/2. With talent out wide on both rosters and similar forward archetypes, the game could be settled by a mistake, or a piece of individual brilliance, just expect it to go in favour of the home side.
Borja Baston to score first at 6/1
Swansea’s other Spanish forward cost a lot more than Llorente and has offered a lot less, but recent performances show he is getting used to the Premier League. Middlesbrough offer him the chance to kick-start his season.
Swansea to win 1-0 at 6/1
Middlesbrough have been in disarray as of late, but still have the revitalised Victor Valdes protecting their goal. Although he’s not enough to win games, he can certainly make it tough for the opposition.