Canaries To Cruise To Boro Victory

Norwich v Middlesbrough

The crunch games continue to come thick and fast in the Championship with second-placed Norwich taking on Middlesborough in third on Friday night.

A 2-0 victory away at Leeds in midweek gave Norwich a fifth win in a row as their title charge continues to pick up momentum at just the right time to stay second in the table just a point behind Bournemouth on top. Second-half goals from Jonathan Howson and Graham Dorrans earned all three points at Elland Road for The Canaries, who are unbeaten in their last eight games in the Championship and have lost just once in their last 15, a run stretching back to the beginning of February.

Alex Neil’s side have also conceded just once in their last four games although of the Championship’s top eight only Brentford have picked up fewer points at home.

Cameron Jerome is the club’s top scorer this season with 18 in the league, although he’s failed to register in any of his last four games while Howson has now scored eight from midfield this season.

Two goals in the opening 11 minutes were enough to give Boro a crucial 2-1 victory over playoff chasers Wolves on Tuesday night. Goals from Jelle Vossen and Patrick Bamford earned the points for Aitor Karanka’s side, who lie third, just a point behind Norwich and two adrift of Bournemouth on top of the pile following five wins from their last seven games.

Their results have been somewhat up and down though, with five losses in 12, while they haven’t drawn any games over that run either. No side in the top half of the division has scored fewer goals away from home either.

Bamford has now scored six in his last seven appearances to put the forward on loan from Chelsea top of Boro’s scoring charts in the Championship with 17 league goals.

Team News
With no new injury concerns, Neil looks set to name the same starting XI which eased to victory over Leeds with Gary Hooper on the bench and Wes Hoolahan behind lone striker Jerome.

Karanka has injury concerns over both Jonathan Woodgate and Albert Adomah who were both taken off against Wolves while Grant Leadbitter remains sidelined. The Boro boss could also mix up his forward line again with Kike pushing for a starting spot, at the likely expense of Lee Tomlin.

Head to Head
Boro thrashed Norwich 4-0 at the Riverside earlier this season in a win which included a brace for skipper Leadbitter. The Canaries won 1-0 at Carrow Road last season, although it’s their only win in the last seven clashes with the Teeside club while there hasn’t been away for either side since Boro left East Anglia with three points in 1998.

Recommended Bets
With Norwich on such a fantastic run and Boro likely to missing some key performers at the back a home has to be backed at 23/20 in the match betting market here.

The 13/5 on a win for the Canaries to win to nil is a decent punt against a team who’ve struggled for goals on their travels all season while a 2-0 home win at 9/1 could also be worth a small wager.