Middlesbrough vs Bournemouth
Date: 22nd April 2017
Kickoff: 15:00 UK/16:00 CET
Venue: Vitality Stadium
Bournemouth host Middlesbrough in the hope of picking up an easy three points and probably the final three points they need to guarantee their Premier League survival.
A win for Bournemouth could see them move as high as twelfth and earn them 38 points for the season.
If Middlesbrough win, they will stay 19th but with one game in hand on 18th and 17th.
Bournemouth will be going into this match looking to bounce back from their embarrassing defeat to Spurs. The Cherries lost 4-0 to Tottenham and 3-1 to Chelsea in their previous games so will welcome what should be a much easier home game against the worst side in the league in 2017.
Bournemouth have struggled for some parts of the season. This has been in part to the absence of key man Callum Wilson. However, the Cherries are seven points above the relegation zone. Therefore, they most likely only need one more win this season to secure their safety. This is something they will be hoping to achieve on Saturday against Boro.
Injury news: Wilshire, Surman and Wilson will all miss the game.
Middlesbrough will be hoping to capitalise on Bournemouth’s recent poor form and pick up their first win of the year. While Boro lost to Arsenal on Monday they did show fight and looked slightly more positive than usual. However, with six tough games remaining for Boro and 17th place Hull being in much better form than them, it looks like Boro will almost definitely be going back down this season.
If Middlesbrough does want to stand any chance of survival this season though, they must beat Bournemouth.
Injury news: Fabio will be assessed prior to the game, Callum Chambers remains out. Valdes and Leadbitter are also injured.
Bournemouth XI: Boruc, Smith, Francis, Cook, Daniels, Stanislas, Arter, Cook, Pugh, King, Afobe
Middlesbrough XI: Guzan, Barragan, Gibson, Ayala, Friend, Ramirez, Clayton, De Roon, Downing, Gestede, Negredo
Head to head
The two teams have played each other a total of just 16 times. Middlesbrough have won seven, drawn seven and Bournemouth have won just twice.
Bournemouth have never beaten Middlesbrough in the Premier League.
Bournemouth have not beat Boro since March 2015 when the two sides met in the Championship.
Neither side goes into this game in a rich vein of form. However, Middlesbrough have been so bad this year it is hard to see them beating Bournemouth. Also, as Boro are away from home, they will probably set up more defensively meaning the game will most likely be a low scoring game. But, Bournemouth will want to use this game to secure their survival this season so they will probably attack a lot, break Boro down and Middlesbrough will struggle to come back as they have scored just 23 goals in 32 games this season.
Final score prediction: 1-0 Bournemouth
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