STAR PREVIEW Mon: Blackburn Rovers v Middlesbrough
Blackburn Rovers’ ten-match unbeaten run ended last week with a 2-0 defeat to Hull City and Tony Mowbray’s side will be aiming to shake off that result, but they face the most in-form side in the division at Ewood Park on Monday night in the shape of Middlesbrough.
Goals from George Honeyman and Tom Eaves helped condemn Blackburn to a surprise 2-0 defeat at the MKM Stadium on Wednesday, bringing Rovers’ impressive run of ten matches without a loss to an emphatic end.
However, as a result of fellow promotion-chasers Bournemouth dropping more points at the weekend, just a point on Monday night would put Mowbray’s men back into the automatic-promotion places.
Ben Brereton Diaz – who has been the subject of plenty of transfer speculation in this January window – will be looking to get back amongst the goals in this one. The Chile international, who burst into international stardom in the summer after his fine performances at the Copa America, has enjoyed a remarkable goalscoring season, bagging 20 goals already in this campaign.
Blackburn Rovers v Middlesbrough
19:45 Sky Sports Main Event / Sky Sports Football / Sky Sports Ultra HD
(Maximum 10 matches)
AUG 2021 CHAMPIONSHIP Middlesbrough 1-1 Blackburn
JAN 2021 CHAMPIONSHIP Middlesbrough 0-1 Blackburn
NOV 2020 CHAMPIONSHIP Blackburn 0-0 Middlesbrough
FEB 2020 CHAMPIONSHIP Middlesbrough 1-1 Blackburn
AUG 2019 CHAMPIONSHIP Blackburn 1-0 Middlesbrough
FEB 2019 CHAMPIONSHIP Blackburn 0-1 Middlesbrough
DEC 2018 CHAMPIONSHIP Middlesbrough 1-1 Blackburn
MAR 2016 CHAMPIONSHIP Blackburn 2-1 Middlesbrough
FEB 2016 CHAMPIONSHIP Middlesbrough 1-1 Blackburn
DEC 2014 CHAMPIONSHIP Blackburn 0-0 Middlesbrough
Middlesbrough’s form has exploded since the arrival of former Oxford United and Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder as manager in November of last year.
Boro have won five of their last six fixtures, now unbeaten in their last seven, and sit just two points behind the play-off places but with, critically, two still games in hand. A victory at Ewood Park on Monday night would see Wilder’s men leapfrog Huddersfield Town in the league and move into the top-six.
New Middlesbrough loanee Folarin Balogun, who recently joined Boro from Arsenal for the remainder of the season, is likely to come into attack alongside fellow loanee Andraz Sporar; a player that has already won the hearts of the Middlesbrough faithful with his scintillating displays in attack.
This is a fascinating match-up between two very good second-tier sides that will both be up there come the end of the season. However, given their strong away form, Middlesbrough at 7/4 look more appealing. We’re also backing young starlet Balogun to open his Boro account here as an anytime scorer at 11/4.
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