We want six, we want six, we want six. That’s what the Bournemouth fans will be singing come 4.42pm as the Boro fans unceremoniously drift towards the exits early.
We can dream, six goals come round rarely, but the last time we played a team from that far up the country six was the magic number. The last time we played Middlesboro three was the magic number and goal number two from Harry Arter was quite possibly the best goal he has every scored and one of the best AFCB goals we have ever witnessed. It’s so good we couldn’t resist, so here it is again.
THREE IS THE MAGIC NUMBER
The number three is a recurring digit in the AFCB v BORO scoreline, along with zero. Last time out it s 3-0 at home and 0-0 away, the season before it was 0-0 at home and 3-3 away. So, what does this mean for the latest outing? 3-0 to Bournemouth, a 3-3 draw or a more likely scenario of 0-0. As we all know history means nothing, it’s current form that counts.
Both teams drew 0-0 against North London teams when it was expected that both teams would come away with nothing. Bournemouth looked good, Boro looked good. But, if current form is an indicator of the scoreline then its a big plus for AFC Bournemouth, two wins and two draws in the last four with nine goals for and 3 against and two clean sheets. Compare this with Boro’s last four games. No wins and two draws with two goals for, four against and one clean sheet.
THE EDDIE HOWE LOVE-IN CONTINUES…
Last week Spurs manager Pochettino was giving Howe the love saying “I like him a lot but that’s a question for him. Every manager has his ideas but he is great. All I saw from him is fantastic. I can repeat I like him a lot.” This week Middlesboro’s head coach Aitor Karanka joined the love-in saying, “I like Eddie [Howe] a lot and as a young English manager he deserves credit, his side play nice football”.
BORO, BORO WHAT’S THE SCORE?
TFTSE FAVOURITE – PAUL MERSON
Middlesbrough created some great chances at the Emirates but they struggle to score and that could be their downfall.
I would go with Adama Traore from the start against Bournemouth. He gives them pace, provides a real outlet and offers something different in attack, which is especially important against an Eddie Howe team that likes to play an expansive style of football.
Howe’s side have impressed me in recent weeks. They did well against Watford, thrashed Hull and played very good football against Spurs, and I think they’ll pick up three points on the road this weekend.
MIDDLESBORO 1-2 AFC BOURNEMOUTH
While Boro have struggled, Bournemouth have found their feet this season and have only lost one of their last seven league matches. The Cherries have made the Vitality Stadium a fortress of late but have struggled away from home this season and are still searching for their first win on their travels.
Middlesbrough haven’t scored in any of their last three matches against Bournemouth – will they both play out their second straight 0-0 draw here?
MIDDLESBORO 0-0 AFC BOURNEMOUTH
Middlesbrough played really well in their draw with Arsenal last weekend, but their problem is still scoring goals. It will not be easy for them against Bournemouth, who are unbeaten in their last four games and on a nice little run.
But there cannot be many teams who go out to stop the Cherries, rather than try to out-play them, and I think Boro’s defensive outlook will help them here.
Aitor Karanka will make Boro difficult to break down and, because they are at home, they will create one or two more chances too. It will be tight, but I think they will edge it.