By David Goulbourn
When: 10:00AM EST, Saturday, April 22nd, 2017
Where: Dean Court, Bournemouth, England
Betting Line: OFF
TV Coverage: NBC Sports App
Bournemouth (9-8-16) welcome Middlesbrough (4-12-16) to Dean Court on Saturday in a huge clash down at the bottom of the Premier League as the sides in 16th and 19th go head to head in a relegation 6-pointer. The last time these 2 sides met was in October when Middlesbrough won 2-0 at The Riverside Stadium thanks to goals from Gaston Ramirez and Stewart Downing. The win was just Middlesbrough’s second of the season and they have gone on to win just 2 further games in what has been a difficult campaign for the club.
Bournemouth come into this game having slid down the table into 16th place recently due to the upturn in the fortunes of Leicester City and Crystal Palace. Eddie Howe’s side are currently 7 points clear of the drop zone and he knows that his side probably only need 1 winto assure themselves of safety. He will have earmarked this game against struggling Middlesbrough as a must win. Middlesbrough find themselves rooted in the relegation zone and are now 6 points away from safety. The club will probably have to win 4 of their last 6 games if they are to achieve safety. A tall order for a club who have won just 4 of their previous 32 games.
Middlesbrough come into this game on a horrid run of form that has seen them fail to win any of their last 15 games in the Premier League. This poor form led to the sacking of Aitor Karanka, but the club have failed to appoint a fulltime manager since the Spaniard left and have seen no improvement in the form. Last time out Middlesbrough lost 2-1 to Arsenal as Alexis Sanchez and Mezut Ozil scored either side of a goal for Alvaro Negredo. Goals have been a problem for Middlesbrough this season and the club are the lowest scorers in the division, having scored just 23 goals in their 32 games.
Bournemouth come into this game on a poor run of form that has seen them go winless in their last 4 games. Last time out they were comfortably beaten 4-0 by Tottenham Hotspur following on from their 3-1 defeat against Chelsea. The amount of goals the club has conceded has been a problem this season and only Hull City and Swansea City have conceded more goals than Bournemouth this season. For comparison Bournemouth have conceded 63 goals and Middlesbrough have conceded just 39.
1. Middlesbrough have won the least amount of games of any side in the division with just 4 wins all season.
2. Bournemouth’s Josh King has 13 goals this season, a fine return for the Norwegian striker.
3. Middlesbrough have drawn the joint highest amount of games (12) along with Manchester United.
Both teams will be looking at this as a must-win game and could truly benefit from the extra points. However, I can see a draw being the most likely outcome here, a result that does little to help either side.
Bournemouth 1, Middlesbrough 1
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