PREVIEW & TIPS FOR Swansea VS Middlesbrough
As far as relegation battle ties go, the Premier League has few more important than this one. 17th vs 19th, with the home side loving to concede and the away side hating to score. To the untrained eye this one might look like a 0-0. However, the Teesiders arrive in Wales knowing that any kind of result would help to lift them out of the drop zone. However, with Aitor Karanka bidding farewell, it’s up to Paul Clement to catch an away side in transition with a smart, effective team selection.
Swansea VS Middlesbrough Team News
We expect that both sides are going to line up in a 4-3-3. Very few players on either side have shown their full qualities this season, but the 4-3-3 seems to suit both squad make-ups quite well. Although the likes of Stewart Downing, Alvaro Negredo, Adam Clayton and Grant Leadbitter have all been less than impressive given their qualities, a change in management could see them unshackled.
Swansea, meanwhile, have the same issue. Big names such as Jack Cork, Tom Carroll, Kyle Naughton and Wayne Routledge have no lived up to their billing this year. Only new signing Martin Olsson, Fernando Llorente and Gylfi Sigurdsson can really say that they have “done the damage” this season for the home side. As such, this game has the makings of a scrap.
However, a win for Boro would lift them to just five points off their opponents. Out of the two sides, though, it would be safe to say that it’s the Swans who have the best chance of success. Swansea have at least won 2 games in their last 6, with the last Boro win coming in the FA Cup in February, when they beat Oxford 3-2. As such, it’s hard to really see any sense of optimism for the away side; they arrive at a home team who can play well at home and who know how to score.
With 6 goals all season, Negredo is the top scorer for the away side. By contrast, Leroy Fer has 6 and is the third top for Swansea. Sirgurdsson has 8, while Llorente has 11. So, it’s hard to see how Boro can suddenly outgun a team with relative firepower. It’s at the back that Swansea have most of their problems. However, with Boro being so profligate, is that even an issue?
Swansea – Middlesbrough STATS
Boro have failed to score in six of their last seven away matches, so it’s hard to put any kind of faith in them finding the net. Swansea, meanwhile, are seeing over 2 goals a game at home for 8 of the last 9 home matches – that’s a total difference to their opponents this weekend. With no wins in 13 away games, too, Boro lack firepower or defensive solidity on the road.
Swansea are on a 3-match winning run at home and we expect that to continue here. Boro are a deeply unimpressive side and look a cert to return to the Championship at the seasons end. If Swansea get the win here, they are moving some way towards being safe.
Swansea VS Middlesbrough Predictions
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