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Middlesbrough’s play-off push has stuttered recently after back-to-back home defeats against Fulham and Hull City, so they won’t relish a trip to a Bournemouth side who have work to do of their own if they’re to return to the promised land of the Premier League.

As things stand, Boro sit three points off the top six, with a game in hand over sixth-placed Sheffield United, but they face a difficult Easter weekend, with the visit of Huddersfield coming a few days after their trip to the south coast.

Meanwhile, the Cherries have a six-point cushion over Nottingham Forest as they look to secure automatic promotion, but they haven’t been in the best of form over the past month or two and further slip-ups could open the door for a rampant Forest side.

There’s pressure on both sides, so read on to see who we reckon will deal with it best on Good Friday, in our full match preview with expert football betting tips.

Double ChanceDraw Or Middlesbrough
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Middlesbrough or Draw (Double Chance)

Boro may be struggling after two 1-0 defeats in the space of a few days, but before then their home record was very strong, while their away form has markedly improved in the last fortnight or so.

Chris Wilder’s men sit in 12th in the away standings, but they’ve banked clean sheets in their last three on the road and recorded successes over struggling duo Birmingham City and Peterborough with an aggregate score of 6-0.

Bournemouth’s form certainly isn’t bad, with just a couple of defeats in their last eight games, but they’ve drawn blanks against West Brom and Sheffield United in their last two games, both of whom have similar styles of play to what Middlesbrough will bring to the Vitality Stadium.

Middlesbrough picked up a very handy 1-0 win in the reverse fixture in mid-December, but there have been draws in four of the previous nine meetings.

With all that in mind, we reckon Boro can go to Bournemouth and get a result. We aren’t convinced they’ll win, but a bet on the visitors in the Double Chance market at 4/5 (LeoVegas) should slot nicely into an early Easter accumulator.

Bournemouth Form, squad news, opinion

While Fulham are running away with the Championship title, Bournemouth can probably claim the “honour” of being the best of the rest.

But they still have a few more hurdles to jump if they’re to return the top flight and they’ll certainly have one eye on a Forest side that have bags of confidence and momentum.

Scott Parker’s men had a real wobble at the turn of the year but they do appear to have come through the thick of that and they come into this on a six-game unbeaten run at home, although their only clean sheet in that sequence came against a Derby side who are amongst the lowest scorers in the whole of the EFL.

Home games against Fulham, Forest and Millwall complete Bournemouth’s season at the Vitality, but their away schedule is much kinder as they look to seal second spot and the pot of gold at the end of the Premier League rainbow.

Striker Kieffer Moore broke his foot in February and will remain on the treatment table for this one.

Middlesbrough Form, squad news, opinion

There have been plenty of highs this season for Middlesbrough, most notably when beating both Manchester United and Tottenham in the FA Cup.

Chelsea brought that run to an end three weeks ago, but just a win and two defeats since then is certainly cause for concern for manager Wilder, who will be all too aware of the congested race for a top six place, with as many as four sides battling for the final play-off berth.

They do, however, have a decent run-in if they can get through the Easter weekend relatively unscathed. Their final four fixtures all come against sides with nothing to play for, so there is plenty of potential for maximum points that would go a long way to sealing their spot in the after-dinner show come May.

Further good news for Boro is that they have no significant injury concerns.


Bournemouth and Middlesbrough haven’t spent a huge deal of time in the same divisions as each other over the years, so they’ve managed only 21 meetings, with the first taking place in February of 1967.

The Cherries may only have five wins to their name in those 21, but four of them have come in the last seven engagements.

About the Venue

The Vitality Stadium is more commonly known as Dean Court to locals and has been the home of AFC Bournemouth since 1910.

With a capacity of just over 11,000 it is the second smallest stadium in the Championship, ahead of Luton’s Kenilworth Road.


Bournemouth certainly have the class to sweep Middlesbrough aside, but they haven’t been all that convincing as they look to make the final strides towards the Premier League.

Middlesbrough need to go for it if they are to keep their play-off hopes alive, and with losing no longer an option at this stage, we reckon that last chance saloon scenario will push the away side on to a decent result down south.

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