Middlesbrough v Sunderland Betting: Back there to be goals as sides fight for survival

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Alvaro Negredo George Friend Middlesbrough
Jan Kruger
These two teams are struggling but our tipster thinks that there is potential for goals at both ends when this rivalry is renewed on Wednesday night

Pride and passion will be in plentiful supply when Middlesbrough meet Sunderland in the Tees-Wear derby on Wednesday night.

Middlesbrough are three points ahead of David Moyes' rock-bottom Black Cats, but Steve Agnew's side are nine points adrift of safety after slumping to a damaging 4-0 defeat against AFC Bournemouth on Saturday afternoon.

Barring a remarkable revival in fortunes, it seems certain that both of these sides will slide into the Championship at the end of the current campaign, but this fixture is still eagerly anticipated by fans of these bitter rivals.

Sunderland City

Middlesbrough claimed the bragging rights by beating the Black Cats at Stadium of Light back in August - one of the few bright spots in a miserable season for the team from Teesside - and Agnew's men can be backed at 6/5 (2.20) to double their delight with a win in this one.

Sunderland start this match a massive 12 points adrift of safety, but they can pull level on points with 'Boro should they win on Wednesday and the Black Cats can be backed at 5/2 (3.50) to give their beleaguered supporters something to smile about. The odds compilers offer 12/5 (3.50) that the match ends all square - an outcome that would, in truth, suit neither side.

Between them, the Premier League's bottom two teams have managed a paltry 49 goals in the top tier so far this season; Boro have hit just 23 goals in 33 league games, while Sunderland have scored 26 goals in their 32 Premier League fixtures thus far this term.

There is 8/11 (1.73) that there are fewer than three goals scored when this rivalry is renewed and  10/11 (1.91) that either team fails to score - a selection that would have landed in 11 of Sunderland's last 12 outings, as well as six of Boro's last nine games.

GFX Middlesbrough Sunderland betting

Despite the dismal form of these rivals, though, there is potential for the goals to flow on Teesside, for Sunderland have kept a clean sheet in just one of their last eight games, while Boro have conceded in eight of their last 10 games.

Backing both teams to score, therefore, could well reward punters ahead of what is sure to be a fiercely competitive fixture on Wednesday night between two teams desperate for local bragging rights, as well as Premier League points.

Betfair Sportsbook go 17/20 (1.85) that there are goals at both ends and, given the defensive frailty of both sides, that quote could offer decent value for punters; the selection would have landed in four of the last five fixtures between the teams in all competitions.

Both teams to score at 17/20 (1.85) for a 2pt stake with Betfair Sportsbook