Middlesbrough are still sitting pretty in the play-off places, however a win against Nottingham Forest on Boxing day could see them surge into the automatic promotion places.
The north-east side suffered a 2-0 defeat away to Ipswich Town last weekend which saw them drop to fourth in the Championship table, however despite this setback they will be in high spirits following a decent start to the season.
Middlesbrough went unbeaten in eight matches prior to that defeat by the Tractor Men and their Spanish manager Aitor Karanka will be a happy man should his side secure a place in the race for automatic promotions towards the end of the season, something that ‘Boro are more than capable of achieving.
The home side start this match as firm favourites across the market with BetVictor offering best odds of 37/40 for a home win, a draw up for grabs at 27/10 with Bet365 and a Forest win 15/4 at the same bookie.
Nottingham Forest have been something of an enigma this season. They started the campaign in hugely impressive style with a ten-match unbeaten run, however they slid into mid-table following a nine-game winless streak and they will be eager to haul themselves up the table with a win on Boxing Day.
Forest have lost two, drawn three and won two in their last seven outings and are showing a slight return to their start-of-season form. Nevertheless, many expected them to be out of sight at this stage and their current position must be infuriating for the Reds’ fans.
Middlesborough have looked unstoppable at times this season and we can’t back against a home win on this occasion. Forest are more than capable of scoring however, their key striker Britt Assombalonga managing 12 goals in his last 21 matches. As a result, we expect both sides to score in what looks fairly certain to be a Boro win on Tees-side, odds of 18/5 available at Coral for such an outcome.
Middlesbrough striker Patrick Bamford has managed seven goals since the start of his loan spell from Chelsea and he’ll certainly be eager to add to that on Friday. He scored against Derby County two weeks ago and we’ll be taking Winner’s 9/5 for the 21-year-old to score anytime in this clash.
Our betting tips
Middlesbrough win with both teams scoring – Coral 18/5
Anytime Goalscorer, Patrick Bamford – Winner 9/5