CHAMPIONSHIP specialist Adam Goodwin (@agjournalism) shares his verdict from Sunday's game between Leeds and Middlesborough.
Leeds vs Middlesborough | Sunday 19th November s2017, 13:15 | Sky Sports
It’s the return of Garry Monk to Leeds United, as he leads his Middlesbrough side to Elland Road.
Boro beat local rivals Sunderland 1-0 before the international break, thanks to a goal from 19-year-old Marcus Tavernier. The youngster bagged his first goal for the club and is already in-demand from some top clubs.
Leeds come into this one on the back of four losses in all competitions and, like many Leeds managers have been at Elland Road, Thomas Christiansen is under huge pressure.
After starting the season so well, Leeds are now in danger of dropping into the bottom half of the Championship.
They’ve lost four of their last five in the league, conceding eight goals in that time. The game they didn’t lose was a 3-0 win away at high-flying Bristol City – which showed what they can do at the top of their game.
Like his employers, Pierre-Michel Lasogga started the season on fire, scoring two goals on his debut. But since then, he’s failed to perform on a consistent basis.
The German striker has been poor in recent week and his stats against Sheffield United aren’t pretty reading for Leeds fans: 20 touches, 6 passes, 4 headers won, 1 touches in the opposition box, 0 take-ons, 0 shots and 0 chances created. He’ll need to improve on that if he is to add to his tally this season.
You’d think that the atmosphere created at Elland Road would spur the Leeds players on, but that doesn’t seem to be happening at the moment.
Their last three games at home have resulted in losses, and they’ll need to put in a good performance this Sunday to stop that becoming four.
After going five games without a win, Middlesbrough now have three wins on the bounce. The introduction of Marcus Tavernier to the starting XI seems to have had a massive influence on the rest of the squad, and the youngster has taken his opportunity with both hands.
Garry Monk will return to Elland Road, after failing to get Leeds promoted to the Premier League last season.
It looked like they were going to make the play-offs heading into the tail-end of the season, but after only four wins in their last ten games, they finished 7th. Monk then left the club and took the reigns at the Riverside.
Middlesbrough have scored 21 goals in 10 games this campaign, including two against Reading and three against Hull, both of which were away from home. In the form they’re in at the moment, I can see a similar outcome against Leeds.
Angle of attack
Middlesbrough are unbeaten in their last six away games and look good value to continue their good run of form. I’m not sure whether they can beat Leeds at Elland Road, but I’m confident they won’t get beaten.
Middlesbrough double chance is too skinny so I’m good to add in over 1.5 goals – there’s been two or more goals in five of their last seven matches in all competitions.
Middlesbrough to win or draw and over 1.5 goals has landed in five of Boro’s last six away games and it looks good value at 87/100 with 188Bet.
Leeds vs Middlesborough – Middlesbrough to win or draw and over 1.5 goals (87/100 188Bet)