Boro's winless run could continue against Bournemouth on Saturday afternoon.
Middlesbrough v Bournemouth - Saturday 15:00
Middlesbrough extended their winless streak to seven games last weekend against Arsenal, though Aitor Karanka would no doubt have bitten off someone’s hand if offered a point before kick-off. In truth Boro were unlucky not to win after creating the better chances, especially during the first half where they were thwarted by the large frame of Petr Cech. Karanka ditched the 4-2-3-1 he has been accused of rigidly sticking to and instead introduced a compact midfield three that Arsenal found difficult to break down. His side may have had only 27% of the possession, but were able to fashion chances of their own as well as recording their first clean sheet since August.
Bournemouth put in another good performance to earn a draw at home to Spurs and can possibly count themselves unlucky that the visitors ended the match with 11 men after Sissoko’s elbow on Arter. The Cherries were brave in their pressing but ultimately successful as they reduced the space for Moussa Dembele and Dele Alli to exploit and start attacks, with Jack Wilshere impressive in his defensive work and completing a full match for the first time in over two years.
Middlesbrough have scored only four goals in their last seven matches, all by different players, and have managed just a solitary strike in their last three. The lack of a regular goalscorer must be a concern for Aitor Karanka, especially against a Bournemouth side that are playing well at the moment and have only suffered defeat once in their last seven matches, away at Man City. Middlesbrough’s games have generally been tight as only one of their nine matches has been won by more than a single goal (a 3-1 loss to Everton), and we think a narrow away victory looks likely so we’re backing Bournemouth to win by one goal at 4.6.