Friday, 16 December 2016

Boro v Swans Preview

Things will go from bad to worse if we fail to beat Middlesbrough on Saturday afternoon. Three points separate us from them and this is without the most important game of the season so far. We can make up ground on both Boro and Palace even if we can’t escape the relegation zone just yet. Defeat is not an option.

13 minutes was all it took for all our good work in the first half to be utterly ruined on Wednesday night – I can’t imagine what Bradders might’ve said to the boys at half time but it can’t have been all that much; they looked totally lost and confused.

We could’ve picked up so much momentum from last weekend; we were imperious! And yet we’re still scrabbling around for points like blind beggars.

It’s safe to say that Middlesbrough are not a better side than us so all that’s in their favour is home field advantage. If you’re travelling to the game, make sure you get there early because parking near to the Riverside is in short supply and really quite expensive for the afternoon!

We have the better of the head to head having won three to their two (two draws) and the last time we played each other we nicked the game 1-0 in the League Cup, 13th December 2012. On paper they look a decent side but an experienced ‘keeper and a big name striker aren’t enough to do well in the Premier League as Karanka is finding out.

Assuming the spine of our team remains solid (Gylfi, Britts and Rangel), we should be able to control the game for the most part. Boro can’t outpace our widemen and there’s no chance their getting past the depth of our midfield – it’s tough to see where goals might come from for them to be honest.

SkyBet don’t fancy us all that much here: Boro 1/1, Draw 12/5, Swans 14/5. Harsh odds but it makes it all the easier to break with convention and back our own team – it’s okay to do it every now and then!

Swans to win and under 2.5 goals in the game is 6/1 and I think that’ll be my bet for the day – it’s got 1-0 written all over it.

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