Live on SkySports 2: Sat 17.15: Boro can land Gordon Strachan a much needed 3 points at The Riverside. Full Championship preview.
Middlesbrough were expected to challenge at the top of the Championship after bringing in the likes of Kris Boyd over the summer but the Teessiders have disappointed and a run of three matches without a win has seen the heat cranked up on boss Gordon Strachan. The fiery Scot comes under further scrutiny this weekend, as the television cameras arrive at the Riverside, but his Boro side can relieve the pressure by landing three points against Leeds.
The visitors have plenty of problems at the back with two ‘keepers injured and Alex Bruce suspended and it seems that Simon Grayson is unable to find a defensive combination to stem the flow of goals. He’s not helped by the long-term absence of rearguard lynchpin Patrick Kisnorbo and it’s the porous nature of the Whites back four that could be their undoing here.
The hosts meanwhile, have actually been relatively solid at home, despite perceptions that they are struggling and Betfred’s 13/10 for them to prevail in this one looks way too high.
Hull have offered little on the road so far this season, a 2-0 victory against Norwich the only ray of light puncturing four dismal away defeats and it’s difficult to see the Tigers easing their travelling woes as Nigel Pearson takes City to face his former employers, Leicester.
The Foxes will be determined to show Pearson that he made the wrong decision to leave and boosted by the arrival of Sven Goran Eriksson, who watched on at the Walkers Stadium as Leicester saw off Scunthorpe last time, the hosts are hard to ignore at even money with Totesport.
Elsewhere, William Hill make Cardiff 8/15 to heap more misery on rock-bottom Bristol City and with Craig Bellamy available to Dave Jones, the Bluebirds look a banker. Reading meanwhile, might be worth an interest at 11/10 (bet365) as they entertain Swansea and the brave can back Norwich at 6/5 with Ladbrokes to interrupt QPR’s title charge by avoiding defeat at Loftus Road.
Double on Cardiff to beat Bristol City and Leicester to beat Hull – 2/1 (Totesport)
Middlesbrough to beat Leeds – 13/10 (Betfred)
Norwich to win or draw (Double Chance) at QPR – 6/5 (Ladbrokes)