Two of the Championship’s promotion favourites go head to head at the Riverside Stadium later this evening as Middlesbrough host newly relegated West Brom (KO 19:45).
It should be a mouthwatering tie with both clubs having realistic ambitions of a return to the Premier League – this is match not to be missed.
Middlesbrough vs West Brom
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Tony Pulis will be up against his former side for the first time since leaving the club in December, and a win for Boro will see them return to the top of the league – for one night at least.
Middlesbrough remain unbeaten so far this season recording three wins and one draw in their opening four league games which is a decent start to the season.
The Boro will be hoping to push on tonight but the arrival of a resurgent Baggies outfit will surely be a stern test for the home side.
In typical Pulis fashion Boro boast the best defensive record in the league conceding just two goals in 360 minutes.
After an opening day defeat the Baggies have since turned a corner winning two and drawing one to give them seven points from a possible 12.
As expected Darren Moore’s side have been scoring for fun bagging 13 goals in four games – the highest in the league so far. Jay Rodriguez has scored four of them after scoring a hat-trick in their 7-1 hammering of QPR last time out.
The former Southampton and Burnley striker is 13/2 to open the scoring tonight, which looks plenty of value.
Following their unbeaten start to the season and with home advantage it’s no surprise to see Boro as 6/4 favs while West Brom are 21/10 to bag an away win. This could be a cagey affair so the draw looks good value at 23/10.
It’s difficult to say whether there’ll be plenty of goals or not. The league’s best defence against the league’s top scorers, something has got to give.
And I’d be more inclined to favour Pulis and his solid defence by backing under 2.5 goals at 4/5.
The two sides last met in the Premier League in the 2016/17 season drawing both fixtures, and it would be no surprise to see the sides take a share of the points again tonight.
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