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Middlesbrough a menace to Norwich promotion bid

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The Championship automatic promotion race continues to heat up as two of the main contenders Middlesbrough and Norwich City collide at Carrow Road

Norwich City will welcome fellow automatic promotion challengers Middlesbrough to Carrow Road for a crucial Championship clash, a match-up which could decide the fate of both teams for next season.

The Canaries currently occupy second spot and are only a single point adrift of league leaders Bournemouth, with Boro sitting in fourth position, just a point behind their next opponents.

However, Boro head coach Aitor Karanka will be aiming to dethrone Norwich’s promotion bid and potentially climb above Alex Neil’s Citizens in the closely contested Championship table.

The visitors are a best priced 3/1 with Bet365 to topple their opponents away from home, with Norwich having lost just one of their last 11 league meetings at Carrow Road, a dominant record which could provide a possible advantage.

Neil’s hosts, 11/10 with BetFred to triumph, have enjoyed a sensational recent run of form, rallying to an impressive five consecutive Championship victories and are unbeaten in eight league outings.

Although, the travelling side hold enough firepower to secure a string result on their travels, with plenty of forwards currently in a fine run of goalscoring form. Grant Leadbitter bagged a brilliant brace in the reverse clash, when his side rocketed to a thumping 4-0 triumph in November.

The attacker returns to action following a two-match ban, after accumulating 10 bookings for the current campaign. The clinical forward is 24/5 with 888.com to net anytime in his latest outing and add to his sublime season tally of 13 goals so far.

Former Chelsea striker Patrick Bamford is a 13/2 chance with Bet365 to open proceedings, having dispatched two goals in as many games in recent weeks, adding to his 19 strikes for the season.

The hosts will be tough to stop, with 13-goal midfielder Bradley Johnson making his comeback from suspension, and he is available at 4/1 with Paddy Power to make a goalscoring return anyime.

Both Championship promotion hopefuls will aiming for a vital three points whihc owuld send them towards a place in next season’s Premier League, with a league title also within touching distance.

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