Blackburn Rovers welcome Middlesbrough to Ewood Park on Sunday lunchtime for what should be an interesting EFL Championship game for the Sky Sports live TV viewers. Boro remain in sixth place in the league table, eight points ahead of Rovers in 14th.
Both teams are winless in their last three games in all competitions, with Rovers having lost their last three league games. In those three games Rovers have conceded eight goals and scored just once, a sign that things are not going their way at the moment.
For Boro, things have dropped off a little since they won 3-2 at West Bromwich Albion in the league on February 2. Since then, they have been knocked out the FA Cup by League Two Newport County, and have also been beaten 1-0 away at Sheffield United in midweek. In between those two games, Boro were held to a 1-1 draw at home by Leeds United.
Blackburn Rovers vs Middlesbrough Prediction: Rovers 1-1 Boro
Our prediction for this game is that it will end in a 1-1 draw. Blackburn have never lost four league matches in a row while Tony Mowbray has been manager at the club, and we think their current losing run will come to an end this weekend. They will not be able to beat Middlesbrough, though. Boro have not lost consecutive league matches with Tony Pulis as manager since last February. Teams coached by Pulis tend to be very hard to beat, and to find extra motivation when needed. We think those qualities will count for a lot on Sunday.
Our recommended tip: Draw, both score
Eight of the last 12 league meetings between these clubs have ended in a draws, which is why our featured tip is draw, both teams to score. William Hill is offering odds of 3/1 on that outcome, which we think offers the potential for some decent returns on your stake. Backing both to score in a draw also gives you a bit more flexibility when it comes to the actual final scoreline. A suspension for Boro defender Daniel Ayala makes it more likely they will concede. Rovers are short of the confidence needed for victory after their recent poor run.
These two sides have played each other on 142 previous occasions in their history. Out of those 142 games, Blackburn have won 58, Boro 38 and there have been 36 draws.
The teams have played each other on one previous occasion during the current campaign. This encounter was a Championship match at the Riverside Stadium on December 8 last year. The game ended up all-square, with the teams drawing 1-1. Boro’s Bosnian midfielder Mo Besic was sent off in the 21st minute. Charlie Mulgrew scored for Blackburn a minute later, but Boro were able to find an equaliser via Britt Assombalonga in the game’s 62nd minute.
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Players to watch: Adam Armstrong & Jordan Hugill
Blackburn striker Adam Armstrong, who was signed on a permanent deal from Newcastle United in the summer after impressing on loan at Ewood Park last season, has been a real find for Rovers. He has netted eight goals in 34 appearances in all competitions this season, and picked up the Championship Player of the Month award for January. Boro will need to keep a close eye on the forward on Sunday lunchtime.
Boro forward Jordan Hugill has been lining up as his team’s solitary striker in a 3-4-2-1 formation in recent weeks. There have been questions about his quality, especially regarding his ability to fill the lone striker role. On loan from West Ham United, Hugill needs to show more quality if he is to earn a decent move away from the Hammers in the summer.He has weighed in with seven goals and two assists in 28 matches in all competitions in 2018/19.