WRITTEN THURSDAY MORNING.
We were with Boro last week and the three points they took off Hull City have given them hope of preserving their EPL status, however, to do so they will have to see off this inform Fulham team who have an eye on a european spot. With games against Arsenal and Manchester United up next, Boro can settle for nothing less than three points today. They continue to create a lot of chances and if things fall their way, I expect them to take the spoils. I do not doubt their commitment and if they play the way they did when beating Liverpool and West Ham in four days here recently, when they chased down every ball and put continuous pressure on their opponent, even deep in the opposing half, they will win.
The visitors have suddenly found some road form, with consecutive 3-1 wins at Bolton and Manchester City and boss Roy Hodgson has done a terrific job in turning them around. However, those wins were only their 6th and 7th in 74 EPL away starts and they are not suddenly a team to trust once they have left London. Strange situation for visiting keeper Mark Schwarzer who is still a hero at the Riverside after 11 years with Boro, not saying he will do the home side any favours, but if he has to have a bad game between now and the end of the season, it might as well be today ! This is all about motivation for me and Boro's could not be greater.
5.5 points Middlesbrough -1/2 ball 2.25 general quote ..... up to 2.30 available.