Goals underrated at the Riverside

Middlesbrough v Huddersfield
Tuesday February 16, 19:45
Sky Sports

Middlesbrough winless streak extends

Middlesbrough‘s stumbling Championship form continued on Saturday as the Teessiders were turned over 2-1 at Pride Park by Derby. It was Boro’s fourth league defeat in five winless matches to leave Neil Warnock‘s troops six points shy of the play-off places.

Warnock was satisfied with his team’s overall display, but admitted his team didn’t do enough in the final-third. He said: “once again I didn’t think we were a threat. Since I’ve been here, well in fact for the last few years really, there’s not been enough threat up front” with Britt Assombalonga and his second half replacement Chuba Akpom anonymous.

Injuries have hurt Middlesbrough, mind. New signing Yannick Bolasie was absent on the weekend, while Dael Fry was again sorely missed at the heart of the defence. Marcus Tavernier also remains on the treatment table and Warnock isn’t anticipating a return for any of his key trio in time for Tuesday night’s tussle.

Huddersfield humbled at home by Wycombe

Huddersfield let a two-goal lead slip at home to rock-bottom Wycombe to extend their winless run to seven games on Saturday, piling the pressure on head coach Carlos Corberan. All appeared to be going swimmingly as Juninho Bacuna and Isaac Mbenza put the Terriers two goals to the good in the first half, before the visitors struck back in first-half injury time.

A penalty just after the hour mark levelled proceedings and there was with a sense of inevitability when Wycombe grabbed a third and final goal three minutes from time to leave Town with a woeful record of just two points from their last seven Championship games. The hosts’ had been out-shot 16-10 and conceded seven on-target in their latest loss.

Worryingly, Corberan pointed to the players being low in confidence and feeling the pressure of a must-win game as the primary explanation for the collapse, and Huddersfield now sit just five points above the drop-zone ahead of the midweek action. Harry Toffolo remains suspended, while Danny Ward, Tommy Elphick and Richard Stearman are also out.

Middlesbrough’s eight-game unbeaten streak in head-to-head meetings with Huddersfield came to an end in the reverse match back in late November (W5-D3-L1). Nevertheless, Boro still hold strong supremacy when welcoming the Terriers for league action, avoiding defeat in this fixture since 1986 (W6-D1-L0). That’s Town’s only triumph here since 1966.

Middlesbrough 1.834/5 have suffered six Championship defeats in nine since Christmas to lose vital ground on the top-six (W2-D1-L6). Neil Warnock’s troops have also been beaten in each of their past four fixtures at the Riverside Stadium as injury issues continue to afflict progress. Even so, Boro have beaten six of their eight visitors from the bottom-half.

Huddersfield 4.607/2 have earned only five points of their own since Christmas (W1-D2-L6) with Carlos Corberan’s charges falling into the relegation battle reckoning. The Terriers have toiled on their travels all season – losing eight of 14 overall road trips (W2-D4-L8) – and head to Teesside without an away success since October (W0-D3-L6).

Neither side have appeared competent at the back of late. Middlesbrough have only managed one shutout in their past 10 tussles – seven of which paid out for Over 2.5 Goals 2.0421/20 backers. Meanwhile, Huddersfield have failed to keep their sheets clean in each of their most recent nine as five of those fixtures have also featured a minimum of three goals.

Despite their lean streak, Town have still provided a final-third threat and the Terriers’ games as guests have tended to provide plenty of entertainment with 2.79 goals per-game. Nine (64%) of those away days produced Over 2.5 Goals and it may pay to support a repeat with the two teams still missing key personnel in defensive positions on Tuesday.