Bournemouth must belie recent draws with Boro to go top
Five of the last six meetings between Bournemouth and Middlesbrough across all competitions have finished level. Odds of 12/5 with Coral say these two Championship promotion favourites shall share the spoils once again in Saturday’s televised lunchtime offering.
Boro come into this contest two points and a place better off than the hosting Cherries in the battle for an automatic spot in next term’s Premier League. Aitor Karanka’s men are rated as likely to win at Dean Court as they are to snatch a point.
Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth are 23/20 favourites for victory which would, temporarily at least, take them to top of the Championship. Defences have definitely been on top when these two have met recently, with the previous couple of head-to-heads finishing goalless.
This makes another 0-0 scoreline tempting at 9/1, but that would be to ignore some in-form forwards. For the Cherries, Brett Pitman hit a hat-trick last time out at home, and has five in his last three league appearances. He is a 6/4 shot to net anytime, and 8/1 for two goals or more as Pitman bagged a brace at the Riverside last term.
Jersey-born Pitman will be partnered in Bournemouth’s attack by either leading marksman Callum Wilson (5/4 in the anytime market) or Yann Kermorgant (better at 7/4). Midfield duo Harry Arter and Matt Ritchie, meanwhile, have recently received international call-ups from respective British Isles nations the Republic of Ireland and Scotland.
Arter grabbed the Cherries’ opener at Cardiff City in midweek, and is a 16/1 shot to score first again, but safer to be on target anytime at 6/1. Winger Ritchie is a tasty 10/3 in that market to add to a dozen Championship strikes.
For Boro, top scorer Patrick Bamford, loaned to Karanka’s club by mentor and Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho, has netted in all four of the Teesside outfit’s matches in March. To keep that run going, England Under-21 attacker Bamford is decent value at 15/8.
Middlesbrough captain Grant Leadbitter has a goal against this opposition before, and is enjoying a brilliant season, especially from dead balls. Back him at 4/1 in the anytime market to strike on the south coast.
If this contest continues the run of draws between Bournemouth and Boro, then it looks like being one where both score. A final result of 1-1 is fabulous at 5/1.