The Black Cats of Sunderland were rocked by the departure of Alex Neil last week but new boss Tony Mowbray looks to have steadied the ship with Sunderland destroying Rotherham 3-0 last week.
Middlesbrough are still looking to kick start their season and Chris Wilder’s side are still in the relegation positions, with the side three off the bottom.
Another loss on the weekend against Watford will not have helped matters and a home win could be crucial tonight.
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This has largely been a one-sided contest over the years, as the Black Cats have no wins in the last nine encounters between these teams.
Will Boro extend that run to 10 matches, or will Sunderland come out on top here? Please read along as we take a look at both teams’ chances.
Middlesbrough’s Championship campaign has not gone as well as they would’ve liked; Boro managed one win in eight matches in all competitions, with three draws and four losses.
As a result of their poor run of form, Chris Wilder’s men find themselves in the relegation zone; they’ve accumulated just six points from seven league matches.
Boro will hope for better results as Sunderland come visiting.
Sunderland are coming off a comfortable 3:0 win against Rotherham United, in a match where they registered 17 shots.
The Black Cats picked up some momentum as their season progressed; they have two wins in their last three games, having won just one of eight matches prior to that.
As it stands, the Black Cats occupy the eighth spot on the Championship table; they can move up to a top 4 spot if they win this match.
Middlesbrough have lost a handful of players to injury in the last two weeks alone; Jonathan Howson and Darragh Lenihan picked up knocks in their previous match at Watford, and will not be available for selection.
Also, Boro will not be able to call on the services of Zach Steffen and Chuba Akpom; as both players are recovering from knee injuries they sustained in recent weeks.
Sunderland loaned out Carl Winchester, just about as soon as he recovered from a back injury.
The Black Cats also have a couple of players absent from this match; as Leon Dajaku and Daniel Ballard are in the recovery room.
We’ve mentioned that Middlesbrough did not lose any of their last nine skirmishes with Sunderland; this is one of the reasons why they are favourites here.
However, Boro’s recent form doesn’t inspire much confidence; as they’ve won just one of their last eight matches.
Sunderland have fared relatively better than Boro in recent weeks; and for this reason, we believe there’s more value in backing them to steal at least one point from this match. With that in mind, Sunderland to win or draw pays at 19/20 odds.
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