Its the Tees-Wear derby lunchtime as Sunderland travel to the Riverside Stadium to take on Middlesbrough with both sides having different fortunes this season.
Just seven months ago Middlesbrough and Sunderland were battling out the Tees–Wear derby in the Premier League. A lot has changed since then and on Sunday they’ll go head to head in the Championship.
Sunderland head into the game without a manager after parting company with Simon Grayson in midweek.
The Black Cats have failed to win a home game all year and have taken just 10 points from a possible 45 this season, which leaves them in the relegation zone. Grayson’s successor will have a huge job on their hands to turn things around. But it’s Robbie Stockdale and Billy McKinlay who’ll be in charge for their trip to the Riverside.
Boro meanwhile are going under the radar after an inconsistent start to the season and they’re just two points off the playoffs. Gary Monk’s side are in good form after winning back to back league games on the road, but have struggled in front of their home fans. They’re winless at the Riverside since September and Monk is looking to avoid losing back to back home Championship matches as a manager for the first time.
The home side will be without striker Rudy Gestede, who is yet to recover from a thigh injury. Other than that Gary Monk has a near-clean bill of health. Sunderland head into the game without defender Tyias Browning who’s struggling with a hamstring injury.
What are the odds on Middlesbrough vs Sunderland?
Middlesbrough can be backed at a best priced 8/11 to take all three points today, which seems good value considering how poor their opponents have been so far this season.
Those expecting Sunderland to take all three points can back the Black Cats at a big looking 5/1, which looks a pretty realistic price considering Sunderland are now bottom of the league.
Summer signing Britt Assombalonga is expected to lead the line for Boro, the striker has scored in each of his last five Championship appearances in November and is 10/3 to open the scoring and he looks worthy of backing.
Boro have won each of their last three matches against Sunderland and look certain to make it a fourth win in a row on Sunday.
Boro are odds on at 8/11 as mentioned above, but if it’s value you’re after then Boro to win and BTTS at 3/1 is a good shout – despite their woes Sunderland have been efficient in front of goals having netted 20 times already this season.
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