Can Middlesbrough Pick Up Some Much Needed Points Against the Toffees?

Last updated: February 10, 2017 by Leon Marshal

Game details

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Kick-off: Saturday, 3.00pm
Venue: Riverside
Coverage: Talk Sport
Home form: DDLDL
Away form: WWWDW
Last season:
Competition: The Premier League

Two teams with contrasting form meet on Saturday as Middlesbrough play host to Everton. The Toffees go into this match unbeaten in their last seven. Romelu Lukaku hit four goals last weekend to sit at the summit of the goalscorers list, as Everton sit comfortably in seventh position in the table. Middlesbrough are precariously placed just one point above the relegation zone however and will need to start picking up points if they want to continue life in the Premier League next year.

Despite a spirited performance against Spurs last weekend, Boro eventually conceeded and slumped to their fourth defeat in the last seven matches. Wins have been hard to come by, but the Boro are a difficult team to break down at home. This has lead to them being somewhat of a draw specialist, with nine draws in their total 24 games. However, things will have to improve if they want to avoid the drop. There are currently six teams separated by just two points at the bottom of the table, making it extremely tough. Middlesbrough certainly have their work cut out for them to get points from this match. Everton are in fine form and scoring for fun, finding the net at least once in their last seven matches.

In contrast to Middlesbrough, things are rosy on the blue side of Merseyside. Romelu Lukaku is the inform striker in the league, showing his class last week against Bournemouth by netting four and assisting one goal. The upturn in form was initially credited to Koeman’s tactical shift to a 3 at the back formation. But the manager has switched things around depending on the fixture, always with good results, showing that Everton’s current success is down to the manager’s tactical nous as much as the performances of the players. Everton will be expected to win this then, but will be well aware of how difficult Boro are to break down at home.

Team News

George Friend and Gastón Ramírez are both injured but expected to recover around the weekend. It will probably be too late for either to feature in this match however.

Other than this there are no new injuries in the Middlesbrough camp, who will perhaps set up defensively for this one, with an eye on keeping out the in form Romelu Lukaku.

Everton too have no new injury concerns. Ronald Koeman switched from his successful three at the back formation to a standard 4-4-2 against Bornemouth and this approach worked equally well, so it remains to be seen what the setup will be here.

Kevin Mirallas was left out of the starting 11 last week, despite impressing in previous weeks. He could find himself recalled to the first team.

Expected line-ups:

Middlesbrough (4-2-3-1): Valdés, Chambers, Bernardo, Gibson, Fabio, de Roon, Clayton, Forshaw, Traoré, Negredo, Downing
Subs: Ayala, Leadbitter, Guzan, Stuani, Bamford, Guédioura, Gestede
Doubtful: Friend, Ramirez
Not available:
Everton (4-2-3-1): Robles, Coleman, Williams, Funes Mori, Baines, McCarthy, Barry, Schneiderlin, Barkley, Lukaku, Lookman
Subs: Jagielka, Mirallas, Gueye, Valencia, Stekelenburg, Davies, Holgate
Injured: Bolasie, Calvert-Lewin
Not available:

So far this season

. . .
Middlesbrough this season Everton this season
15th League Position 7th
3 (1) (at home) Wins (away) 7 (4)
3-0 vs. Swansea Biggest win 6-3 vs.Bournemouth
3 (6) (at home) Draws (away) 4 (3)
0-3 vs. Liverpool Biggest Defeat 0-5 vs. Chelsea
Álvaro Negredo (6) Top scorer Romelu Lukaku (16)
Gastón Ramírez (3) Assist Leader Ross Barkley (5)
Y52, R0 Discipline Y43, R1
10 Failures to score 4
7 Clean Sheets 7
11 Both Teams to Score Games 13
9 Over 2.5 Games 11
15 Under 2.5 Games 13
  • Middlesbrough are in dire form of late with just one win in their last ten league matches. They’ve also picked up three draws during that time, but they now sit precariously just one point above the relegation zone and will need to start winning matches if they want to survive.
  • Everton on the other hand have refound the form of their start to this season. They are now unbeaten seven, with five wins and two draws.
  • 75% of Boro’s wins this season have come at home, although that figure is just three wins. They are resilient and defensively strong however and keeping a clean sheet could be the key to taking points from this match against a resolute Everton defensive.
  • Romelu Lukaku scored four and also assisted one in Everton’s last match against Bournemouth. In sizzling form, the striker is hotly tipped to add to his goals tally here.

Head to Head

Last 5 meetings between the two sides
Date Competition Game Result First Goal-scorer
17/09/2016 Premier League Everton 3 – 1 Middlesbrough Barry 24′
01/12/2015 League Cup Middlesbrough 0 – 2 Everton Deulofeu 20′
08/03/2009 FA Cup Everton 2 – 1 Middlesbrough Fellaini 50′
26/12/2008 Premier League Middlesbrough 0 – 1 Everton Cahill 51′
16/11/2008 Premier League Everton 1 – 1 Middlesbrough O’Neil 8′

Conclusion & Betting Tips

With so many teams currently in a relegation fight, Boro must pick up some points from this match. It’s a tough task though; they’ve lost half of their matches at home and won just three.

Everton seem to have found the consistency they sought and are in great form. Closing in on the top five could be the motivation they need to keep this momentum going and for this reason, we expect them to get the job here. You can get a good price on the Toffees to win at 11/10 at bet365. We also expect Lukaku’s goalscoring run to continue. Our other tip is Lukaku to be first goalscorer at 7/2 or anytime at 5/6.