Sheffield Wednesday vs Middlesbrough predictions: Boro best-placed to end winless run
- Middlesbrough have won on four of their last five visits to Hillsborough
- No team averages fewer shots per home game this season than Wednesday
- Recommended bet: Middlesbrough to win
Middlesbrough and Sheffield Wednesday are two of five EFL sides without a win to their names this season, but that may all change for the visitors on Tuesday.
Boro were expected to be in the promotion mix after making the play-offs last season but instead find themselves propping up the rest of the division.
Wednesday’s position in the bottom three is a little less surprising after promotion from League One was followed by a chaotic summer and they look vulnerable in what could be the first of many relegation six-pointers for the Owls.
Captain Barry Bannan was a surprise omission from Saturday’s team sheet for the defeat to Ipswich and Wednesday boss Xisco Munoz has been coy on his availability.
Dominic Iorfa limped out of the loss to Ipswich and is a doubt.
Mallik Wilks and Momo Diaby are some way off a return.
Middlesbrough are waiting for news on Lukas Engel's foot injury after he missed the loss at Blackburn, while Alex Bangura has a hamstring complaint.
Paddy McNair started on the bench at Ewood Park due to a minor issue but may return to the starting line-up at Hillsborough.
Sheffield Wednesday have now gone nine Championship games without a win over their last two stints in the division, while Middlesbrough are winless in 11 second-tier outings, including last season’s play-off semi-final tie with Coventry.
Both sides have scored four goals in the Championship this season, but Boro’s low return is not for the want of trying, having registered the fourth most shots in the division.
In contrast, Wednesday have averaged the fourth-fewest shots, with no side averaging fewer shots on goal at home this season than the Owls.
With little recent form to go off to separate the sides on paper, historically this has not been a good fixture for the home team with five of the last eight matches won by the away side.
On paper, there is little to separate these sides with both on one point and sharing fairly extensive winless runs.
The failure to get points on the board means both managers are coming under increasing pressure, although there is more belief in Michael Carrick changing Boro's course than there is in a Munoz-inspired Wednesday turnaround.
The Owls did not register a shot on target against Ipswich and a Middlesbrough side that has been caught out at times this season due to its desire to get forward may not be as badly exposed here.
Boro signed a lot of young players in the summer who are taking time to adapt to life in the Championship, but they at least have an identity and clear gameplan under Carrick, unlike Wednesday.
This is a glorious chance for one of these teams to give their season a much-needed shot in the arm and the Teessiders look the better placed to take advantage.
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