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Middlesbrough primed to end losing run against Leeds

25 Sep | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
Middlesbrough primed to end losing run against Leeds

The promotion hopefuls have been in excellent form and are aiming to beat the Yorkshire club for the first time in five meetings

Having suffered heartbreak in the play-off final last season, Middlesbrough could have allowed that setback to affect their start to the new campaign.

There haven’t been any lingering effects, though, and they appear determined to make the step up this time round.

Aitor Karanka’s side have won each of their last six games in all competitions and look set to be one of the leading contenders for automatic promotion at the business end of the season.

They are second in the Championship, having scored the most goals (14) and conceded the joint-least (5) in the division.

The team have looked full of confidence, but this weekend’s game will pose a big test of their credentials.

Boro host Leeds at the Riverside on Sunday, where they will be looking to improve upon their very poor recent record against the Yorkshire side.

Leeds emerged triumphant in both meetings between the two clubs last season and Boro have only beaten them twice in 10 league clashes since 2010/11.

Uwe Rosler’s team have made a decent start themselves, winning twice but losing only one of their eight league games so far.

The 10th-placed club are 11/2 to get the better of the Teesside club with another win.

Chris Wood could be Leeds’ main attacking threat, having settled in quickly since arriving from Leicester during the summer.

He has scored four league goals this term – a figure that is only bettered by three players in the division – and the New Zealand international is 9/1 to score first.

Wood has got almost half of Leeds’ goals overall, but he will have to be on top form to breach the well-drilled Middlesbrough backline and the home side are evens to keep a clean sheet.

That defensive security has been the foundation of Karanka’s work in the North East and, despite their struggles against Leeds in the last few years, it will give them belief they can get the win.

Boro’s boss can call upon one of the best left-backs in the league in George Friend, while Daniel Ayala has been particularly impressive in central defence.

The Spaniard’s team’s goal return shows they can play as well and the return of hometown hero Stewart Downing has helped to add more creativity going forward.

They have had to rejig their attack after losing last season’s Championship Player of the Year, Patrick Bamford, sharing the goals around Kike, Christian Stuani, Diego Fabbrini, and David Nugent.

Stuani and Kike are both 4/1 to open the scoring, while Nugent is 6/5 to net at any time during the game.

Leeds will be emboldened from past performances against this weekend’s opponents and can call upon several very exciting young talents, including Charlie Taylor, Alex Mowatt and Lewis Cook.

However, with Middlesbrough in such impressive form, their best chance of winning may be to keep things tight and look to break as the games goes on.

You can get 23/10 for the score to be level at half-time and either side to then go on and win during the second period.

Middlesbrough are the clear favourites here, though, and ending their woeful run against Leeds with victory would deliver a statement about their promotion ambitions.

Middlesbrough v Leeds betting

Championship betting