West Brom v Middlesbrough – The Hawthorns at 13:30 live on Sky Sports 1
On Sunday afternoon West Brom take on Middlesbrough and I am expecting a good game as both sides have had a decent start to the new season.
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On the opening weekend of their new campaign, West Brom got a result at Selhurt Park against Crystal Palace (1-0), with Salomon Rondon scoring the winner in the second half.
Last weekend however The Baggies lost 2-1 at home to Everton, despite McAuley giving Tony Pulis’s side an early lead.
West Brom also exited the EFL Cup this week at the hands of Northampton, with the game going all the way to penalties after the match finished 2-2 with extra-time having been played. Northampton were on a 27 game unbeaten run in all competitions heading into the match, but even so, The Baggies must have been disappointed to get knocked out the cup by a League One side .
As for Boro, surely their main aim this season is to simply survive in the top-flight, although now the belief will be so high in the camp that they will feel they can go on to achieve greater things.
After 2 games, Aitor Karanka’s side are undefeated and drew 1-1 with Stoke on the opening day of the season, before obtaining a 2-1 win over Sunderland last weekend at the Stadium of Light.
Summer signing Alvaro Negrado is already showing his worth, having scored on the opening day of the season, as well as setting up Cristhian Stuani’s second goal against Sunderland which gave Boro a 2-0 lead. Although Patrick van Aanholt got a goal back for The Black Cats, Boro managed to hold out for what could prove to be an important 3 points.
Middlesbrough currently have 4 points out of a possible 6 and they will be more than happy with the way they have started the season.
Mid-week however, Karanka’s men lost against Championship side Fulham in the EFL Cup after Lasse Vigen Christensen scored the winner for The Cottagers in extra-time. Despite being disappointed no doubt, on the plus side, at least Boro can solely focus on remaining in the top-flight for now without any other distractions.
As for the result of this tie, Boro will be full of confidence in light of their impressive start to the season, bearing in mind they were one of the favourites to get relegated! Away from home however a draw is a likely result, but I think Boro are the more dangerous side and therefore I recommend backing Middlesbrough +0.25 on the Asian Handicap Betting market.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Middlesbrough +0.25 @ 1.78 with Pinnacle
Prices correct at time of writing.