Middlesbrough vs Stoke City Betting tips, Match Predictions and Goalscorer Bets
Middlesbrough make a long awaited return to the Premier League on Saturday afternoon when they host an ever improving Stoke City side. The Potters will be aiming to improve on last season’s ninth place finish, whilst Boro are tipped for the drop by most. Then again, so were Leicester. Below is our match preview, prediction and betting tips.
Game: Middlesbrough vs Stoke City
Venue: Riverside Stadium
Kick-off: 3pm, Saturday 13th August
Saturday will see Middlesbrough will start their first Premier League campaign since 2009 when they dropped out of the league after a dismal five game run, eventually suffering the drop just three points behind Hull City. Bookmakers have Boro almost odds on to be relegated this season which I find quite harsh. Having been promoted last season, Boro at least have momentum on their side, and I have to think they’re in a better position than the likes of Sunderland and West Brom.
Stoke could have bettered their ninth place finish have they not finished the season losing three straight games whilst letting in 12 goals. Long gone are the days of Rory Delap and Peter Crouch though, as Stoke have continued to show ambition with the signing of Joe Allen, who performed well for Wales during Euro 2016.
Middlesbrough have shown ambition of their own, although some fear they haven’t added enough quality of players, but you certainly can’t argue with what they have added. Alvaro Negredo and Viktor Fischer are definitely capable of scoring the goals needed to survive at this level. The pair only managed 13 goals between them last season but 22-year-old Fischer is ready to burst on to the scene, whilst Negredo should benefit from being more of a focal point this year.
Match Predictions and Betting Tips
The home side are favourites to win the game and you can back Middlesbrough to win at a price of 5/4 with Bet365. A draw is best odds of 9/4 with 188bet, whilst visitors Stoke are the narrow outsiders at odds of 13/5 with Unibet. City are the more experienced Premier League side and they do have more quality in depth, but I think that first day atmosphere can be a big
catalyst for the home side here. I predict the home side can get over the first hurdle safely.
I think that facing Stoke, Palace, West Brom and Sunderland in your first four premier league games is possibly as kind a start as Middlesbrough could have been afforded, so I think there’s some real motivation to get on the front foot early in this game. Boro won 13 home games without conceding last season and saw four games end 0-0. Home has been an absolute fortress, and they need to find a way to keep that form.
Even though it was reasonable, Stoke City will definitely be hoping that their away form can be improved this season having as that’s the key to reaching the European places. Home can be a fortress, but Stoke only won five of their 19 away league games last season.
They’ve conceded in 11 of their last 12 away which is a big part of the problem. On occasion when Stoke held teams out they always had the quality
to find the goals needed, and often stole the points via a 1-0 score line. Although they can score goals, they haven’t shown me anything in
pre-season to suggest their defence will be sturdier. Naturally Boro’s defence could take time to acclimatise to this level, so goals are a
possibility here. I predict both teams will score, and it’s worth backing as our free betting tip at 4/5 with Paddy Power.
No team survives in this league without their big name striker to finding the net, so Alvaro Negredo needs to prove his worth and get on the score sheet on the opening day, which is best odds 28/13 with 888Sport.
Free Betting Tip
Both Teams to score – 4/5 with Paddy Power
Correct Score Prediction
2-1 – 10/1 with Bet365
Alvaro Negredo – 28/13 with 888Sport