Middlesbrough vs Southampton predictions: Defensive issues to come to the fore
- Both teams have scored in four of Middlesbrough’s last five Championship games
- Southampton have conceded in all seven league games this season
- Recommended bet: Both teams to score at 11/20
Southampton’s flying start to the Championship season has given way to three successive defeats and Russell Martin’s side will be keen to bounce back against a Middlesbrough side rooted to the bottom of the standings.
Boro have shown small signs of improvement lately, drawing two of their last five matches, but they remain winless in the league this season and a draw against fellow strugglers Sheffield Wednesday in midweek was not enough to lift them from the foot of the table.
Right-back Anfernee Dijksteel is sidelined for the hosts and Michael Carrick could be tempted into more changes.
Isaiah Jones, Morgan Rogers and Sam Greenwood will hope to start, potentially pushing Samuel Silvera, Lukas Engel and Riley McGree to the bench.
Carlos Alcaraz, Jan Bednarek and Kamaldeen Sulemana could come into the Southampton line-up at the expense of Shea Charles, Joe Aribo and Ryan Fraser.
Flynn Downes remains a doubt for the Saints, though, while Juan Larios, Jack Stephens and Ross Stewart are all confirmed absentees.
Both teams have scored in four of Middlesbrough’s last five Championship games.
Both teams have scored in five of Southampton’s seven league fixtures this season.
Neither Middlesbrough nor Southampton have kept a league clean sheet this term.
Southampton have lost three successive matches.
Middlesbrough have failed to win any of their seven Championship matches this season
Michael Carrick led Middlesbrough to the play-offs last season, losing just eight of 29 regular-season games after his arrival in October, but the new campaign has got off to a rocky start on Teesside.
After seven games they are yet to win a Championship match and a 1-1 draw against the struggling Sheffield Wednesday in midweek kept them at the bottom of the table on goal difference.
Boro have shown some signs of life recently, though, scoring in four of their last five games and picking up a couple of points. They can at least get on the scoresheet against a Saints side seemingly in free-fall.
The Saints began the campaign by picking up ten points from their opening four games, but a defeat to Ipswich Town on Tuesday made it three losses in succession and they remain without a clean sheet this season.
With both teams desperately needing a confidence boost and offering some threat going forward, expect these sides’ defensive issues to continue on Saturday.
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