West Ham visit Teeside in a top of the table clash that will have a big impact on the Championship promotion race.
The home side are favourites here at 7/4 (Paddy Power – £100 free bets) and given they are unbeaten at home they will be confident of taking the points. However, they drew at the weekend and also took just a point from their previous game, at home against fellow promotion hopefuls Blackpool. With six draws at the Riverside from nine league games, another stalemate could be on the cards at 12/5 (Skybet).
The visitors will be travelling North hoping to take three points, however, and the bookies price them at 9/5 (Bwin – £25 free betting). West Ham have the best away record in the division and having won six of their last eight league games will be full of confidence. They have lost just one on the road this season and although they are functional rather than expansive they do boast the Championship’s best attack on the road.
Allardyce signed one of his former players, Kevin Nolan, as one his first moves at the club and the Liverpudlian brings experience and goals to the side. The Hammers have several players capable of scoring and that threat will always keep them in a game.
Having said that, Boro are defensively sound at their own ground and in a game sure to be close, we think goals will be at a real premium. The bookies agree and under 2.5 goals is best-priced at just 3/4 (Stan James).
We expect there to be only a goal in this one and it could go either way. With so much potentially at stake it will be a cagey affair and the draw at half time appeals at 11/10 (bet365).