Coventry vs Middlesbrough predictions: Exciting clash on the cards
- Both teams have scored in seven of Middlesbrough's last eight matches
- Four of Coventry's last six league home games have produced over 2.5 goals
- Recommended bet: Both teams to score and over 2.5 goals
That 1-1 draw between these two sides on Monday saw Coventry confirmed as fifth-placed finishers and means that they meet Middlesbrough again just six days later in the first leg of this play-off semi-final.
Both teams have had eventful seasons, with Boro starting slowly under Chris Wilder before winning 18 of their 30 matches under new boss Michael Carrick to land a top-six spot.
Mark Robins' City had to contend with issues with their ground, a change of ownership and one of the lowest transfer budgets in the division, but have pulled off the unlikely feat of being three games from the Premier League.
For Middlesborugh, Dael Fry, Jonny Howson, Marcus Forsss and Aaron Ramsey are all doubts after missing out on the final game of the campaign.
Of those, Howson and Ramsey are the likeliest to feature for Carrick’s men.
Coventry have not had the opportunity to rest players that Boro have, with the Sky Blues scrapping tooth and nail for their play-off spot.
However, their squad is relatively free from injury, Ben Sheaf returned from a lay-off last week, but was an unused substitute and the big selection dilemma is whether he will return to the starting line-up.
Star midfielder Callum O’Hare remains out with a long-term issue.
This could well be a high-scoring affair, no team has had more Championship games with over 3.5 goals than Middlesbrough have this season and they finished just three goals behind Burnley in the goals scored rankings this season with 84.
This match-up also sees the top two individual scorers in the division go head-to-head, with Chuba Akpom’s 28 goals for Boro seeing him top the charts, with Coventry’s Viktor Gyokeres chasing him home in second with 21.
The Sky Blues will see winning this first matchup as crucial, 12 of Boro’s 15 losses have come on the road, while 11 of Coventry’s 18 wins came in their own back yard.
Coventry will be targeting this first leg of the semi-final as crucial if they are to progress to Wembley, given Middlesbrough's poor record on the road and rock-solid home form this season.
Both teams know their way to goal and have potent attacking talents, as demonstrated by the fact that the two top scorers in the division line up here.
With both teams finding the net in seven of Boro’s last eight games, they are clearly vulnerable at times at the back and Coventry’s Gyokeres could take advantage.
The Sky Blues may not be able to contain Boro’s free-flowing attack either, so take both teams to find the net and over 2.5 goals to land too.
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