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Middlesbrough v Sunderland
The Championship continues with Middlesbrough v Sunderland on Sunday afternoon, but that’s far from everything available here on ABC. Our football coverage this upcoming week will include EFL betting predictions and EFL accumulator tips. We also have plenty of non-EFL content, with a huge range of football tips and expert betting predictions to help you craft yourself a winner this weekend.
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The “don’t call it a derby” derby has rolled around once more and this time the battle with take place on Teesside with both clubs still aiming for a piece of the play-off pie.
Middlesbrough have had a really inconsistent season so far, and are undoubtedly sitting further off the top six than they would want to be. It will take a very strong end to the season, exactly as they did last season, to fire themselves into the top six. However, this time last season, their strikeforce was Ajax’s Chuba Akpom and Sheffield United’s Cameron Archer, and they have also just lost the promising Morgan Rogers to Aston Villa as well. There will be much reliance on Josh Coburn and Emmanuel Latte Lath to improve.
Sunderland fans are still less than enamoured with both the manager and the ownership of the club after recent incidents, but a good 3-1 win at the Stadium of Light last time out and a couple of deadline day signings have at least steadied the mood coming into this clash.
It will most likely be a real scrap for the final two play-off positions with Leeds, Ipswich, Southampton, and Leicester looking pretty secure in the top four positions, but with Coventry, West Brom, and Hull all above this pair on points per game there are a lot of rivals that both clubs need to pass to get into the driving seat.
There will be some simmering tensions between the clubs, even if Sunderland fans especially like to play down the significance of this rivalry, but the first meeting between the sides this season was a rollicking victory for Middlesbrough at the Stadium of Light. 0-4 was the scoreline after Dan Neil received a red card on the verge of half-time. Will there be any measure of revenge served up at the Riverside?
Middlesbrough v Sunderland Cheat Sheet
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⚽ Match stats: Both teams looking better on the spreadsheet than on the grass
Middlesbrough are underperforming their performance data. They have created 45.5xG, which is the fourth highest in the league and they average 5.5 shots on target per match which is the third highest average. However, they have only scored 42 goals from that, the vast majority of which have been away from home.
Their home record has been below average. Indeed, their record of winning six, losing six and drawing twice at the Riverside is the same as they have managed away. Boro have scored only 15 in their 14 home Championship matches.
Interestingly though, Sunderland share similar traits to their north-east neighbours. They have created 44xG but only scored 40 from that. Their difficulties with centre forwards have been well documented but Mason Burstow finally broke his duck last week and this may pave the way for greater production.
Though Sunderland have only lost 6 of their 14 away games, they have also only won four. Their away record last season was actually better than at the Stadium of Light, but this has not been the case at all this season.
Since Mick Beale has come in, Sunderland have tightened up defensively but have also not been as threatening in general.
⚽ Under 2.5 goals @ 1.95
🎯 Shooting stats: Middlesbrough players have the edge in this market
The general rule is that around one third of shots end up on target. Jack Clarke has been almost a one-man attacking force for Sunderland so far this season and he does hold up the one third theory, but that only takes Clarke to an average of 1.02 shots on target per match so far this season.
Also, it does feel as though more managers are able to reduce Clarke’s productivity knowing that doing that will be key to shutting down Sunderland’s goal threat.
Middlesbrough have four players above 1 SoT per 90, albeit two of them have small sample sizes.
Emmanuel Latte Lath actually averages almost 2 shots on target per match, but he is not an option for this market. Marcus Forss and Sam Greenwood feel like pretty solid options here, both of them wanting to attack centrally from an initial wide forward position and doing so successfully enough to average over 1 SoT per match.
The slightly less reliable one, but that could be the best value, is Finn Azaz. The former Plymouth loanee has averaged around 1 SoT per match during his EFL career so far but hasn’t found the target for Middlesbrough yet. He is a much bigger price than his Boro contemporaries so he gets an endorsement here.
⚽ Finan Azaz to have 1+ shots on target @ 1.73
⚽ Marcus Forss to have 1+ shots on target @ 1.33
⚽ Sam Greenwood to have 1+ shots on target @ 1.40
🛑 Foul stats: Attackers on the press could be worth adding into bet builders
The way that both of these teams work to win the ball back becomes evident when assessing the foul numbers of their players.
Jack Clarke has by far the highest number of fouls for Sunderland, and this is not only because he has played all the minutes for the Black Cats, he also owns the highest average as well.
Of course, Clarke is also by far the most fouled player, having been fouled 69 times in 28.5 90s. Luke Ayling will have the difficult task of keeping Clarke under wraps, though undoubtedly he will get help in this endeavour.
Meanwhile, on the other side it is Sam Greenwood, whose foul stats are massive but is priced accordingly, Isaiah Jones, and Matt Crooks who lead the foul count.
The value is scarce amongst the main foulers though and Ayling is probably the best value up against Clarke, who may well retaliate in the battle of the match. Hayden Hackney is worth a bet as well as his numbers are well over a foul per match.
⚽ Luke Ayling to commit 1+ foul @ 1.50
⚽ Hayden Hackney to commit 1+ foul @ 1.67
⚽ Jack Clarke to commit 2+ fouls @ 1.50
🚩 Corner stats: High corner volume anticipated
Both of these teams are adept at winning corners.
Middlesbrough average over 7 corners per home match, 7.36 vs 4.39 conceded, this is one of the most dominant records in the Championship.
However, Sunderland are also a strong corners team and are one of the few teams who are dominant away from home in corners as well as at home. The Black Cats win over 6.5 corners per match and concede less than four.
It should be a fairly even match throughout the 90 minutes and with the ability of both sides to win corners one would expect both sides to win their fair share and produce a high total.
⚽ Over 9.5 corners @ 1.50
⚽ Over 3.5 Sunderland corners @ 1.33
* I recommend waiting for confirmed team line-ups before placing any bets.
* All odds displayed correct at the time of publishing.
Written by an Andy verified content writer
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