20th Jan 2017 | Premier League
Middlesbrough v West Ham Preview
West Ham were quietly impressive last week and they’ve done ok away from home despite a tough schedule.
Middlesbrough have just about been keeping their heads above water but they’ve only scored 17 goals all season and that is a huge worry.
Aitor Karanka can take credit for the organised defence but he also relies on Victor Valdes and his extreme save percentage (third best in the league). When this cools, he will need to find some offence.
There is a strong possibility the former Spanish international will be a busy man on Saturday as West Ham bounce off their best performance of the season. Dmitri Payet’s withdrawal of labour seems to have galvanised fellow squad members, especially Andy Carroll.
West Ham have 8 points away from home this season but they’ve also had a particularly difficult schedule, visiting Chelsea, Man City, Everton, Tottenham, Man Utd and Liverpool – six of the current top seven. I expect their away results to improve with an easier set of fixtures and Middlesbrough are beatable at 9/4 (Bet365).
Odds correct at time of publishing: 04:20 20th Jan, 2017 but subject to change