Wednesday 14th December 19.45 GMT
It’s been a slightly underwhelming season for Middlesbrough so far. On reflection, that’s being a touch generous. After 15 games, they have amassed exactly one point per game on average, an amount which sees them sitting in 16th, level on points with Crystal Palace and just three points above the relegation zone. Although their defence is amongst the best in the league, their ‘goals for’ column is the lowest bar none. In other words, just the kind of forward line that Liverpool’s defenders will be happy to see.
Three weeks ago, Liverpool were top of the league. Now they sit in 3rd, six points behind the leaders, Chelsea. Given the London club’s outstanding form of late, there’s hardly much shame in that swapping of places but in truth, Liverpool should be having a long, hard look at themselves as they have dropped five points in their previous two matches, games that saw them pair off against Bournemouth (currently 12th) and West Ham (currently 17th), respectively.
This is how the chasing pack roll
When you consider the current travails of 4th placed Manchester City and 5th placed Tottenham Hotspur and then realize how close they sit to Liverpool in 3rd, it’s not hard to make the case that their recently-ended winning run was overly complimentary toward them and sits at odds with what they are really capable of. Can you imagine this current iteration of Chelsea drop points to the teams that Liverpool just have? Would Arsenal?
This makes what was always going to be an important match for Liverpool all the better in the coming up against a Middlesbrough side that is unlikely to trouble their somewhat woebegone defence to any great degree. In fairness, the home team are likely to score given that it’s Liverpool (conceded five in their last two games)but they’ve only scored six at home all season so chances are it’ll just be the one. Liverpool should score more than that and so are the likeliest winners here, although not nailed one, we would suggest. Anyway, best price for a Liverpool win is 8/13 and comes from BetBright.