West Ham and Middlesbrough meet at Upton Park on Tuesday in a match both sides need to win in order to boost their own respective bids for promotion. West Ham looked destined for a top two finish a few weeks ago but a failure to convert draws into wins has seen them drop down to third in the Championship. Meanwhile Middlesbrough are currently embroiled in a frantic battle for a top six finish. With every point vital from now until the end of the season a defeat on Tuesday could prove to be very costly. Ladbrokes have West Ham as the 4/5 favourites to win, while Boro can be backed at 7/2, with a draw priced at 5/2.
West Ham may be unbeaten in eight matches but they will be thoroughly disappointed with recent results. They have slipped out of the top two following three consecutive draws and they simply must win in order to keep up with league leaders Southampton and Reading, who are both in great form. With both of those sides also in action on Tuesday The Hammers could find themselves eight points off top spot if they are defeated by Boro. Sam Allardyce’s men have struggled at Upton Park of late, drawing four consecutive home games. Despite boasting a number of strikers they have been relatively poor in front of goal and have failed to score more than two goals in a home match since way back in November. At the weekend they managed to rescue a last gasp point away to Leeds but they must improve if they are to get the three points on Tuesday.
If Boro lose then their already slim hopes of snatching an automatic promotion place will be firmly slammed shut. With only one point separating 4th and 9th positions, 6th placed Boro need a win to ensure they remain in the top six. Tony Mowbray’s side have a number of crunch games on the horizon against the likes of Brighton, Cardiff and Hull which means it is crucial that they avoid their third consecutive defeat. Boro have been way below-par against the Championship’s top teams this season and suffered a 2-0 defeat when they played West Ham back in November at The Riverside Stadium. On top of that they have won just once in the last eight meetings between the sides and head into the match on the back of a disappointing 3-0 defeat to Birmingham on Saturday.
The Hammers can be backed at 7/1 to win 1-0, while Boro have been handed odds of 12/1 to come away with a 1-0 win. A 1-1 draw could be the way to go at 6/1 in what would be West Ham’s fourth consecutive result by that scoreline. The Hammers can also be backed at 10/3 to win with two or fewer goals scored in the match.
Carlton Cole has been installed as the 9/2 favourite in the first goalscorer market, with Sam Baldock, Nicky Maynard, Kevin Nolan and Ricardo Vaz Te all priced at 5/1. Boro haven’t scored in two games but in their ranks they have two decent strikers in Marvin Emnes and Lukas Jutkiewicz who are both priced at 11/2 to open the scoring with Ladbrokes.
West Ham v Middlesbrough Tips
Tip #1: 1-1 draw @ odds of 6/1 with Ladbrokes.
Tip #2: West Ham to win with two or fewer goals scored in the match @ odds of 10/3 with Ladbrokes.
Tip #3: Kevin Nolan to open the scoring @ odds of 5/1 with Ladbrokes.
4/5 - West Ham
7/2 - Middlesbrough
5/2 - Draw
Correct Score Odds
7/1 - West Ham 1 - 0
8/1 - West Ham 2 – 0
8/1 - West Ham 2 - 1
12/1 - Middlesbrough 1-0
25/1 - Middlesbrough 2-0
16/1 - Middlesbrough 2-1
10/1 - Draw 0-0
6/1 - Draw 1-1
14/1 - Draw 2-2
First Goalscorer Odds
9/2 - Carlton Cole
5/1 - Sam Baldock
5/1 - Nicky Maynard
5/1 - Kevin Nolan
5/1 - Ricardo Vaz Te
11/2 - Marvin Emnes
11/2 - Lukas Jutkiewicz
8/1 - Curtis Main
8/1 - Bart Ogbeche
Odds supplied by Ladbrokes.com, plus over 60 other markets on this match and all live Championship fixtures, including live betting in-running.
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