Middlesbrough - Blackpool

Boro started the season as one of the league giants. Big underachievement with results activated alarms in the club and manager Gareth Southgate has cleaned the desk. His successor, Gordon Strachan, has a big reputation. But, also has a different training methods that had been causing lack of results in the few starting games in his clubs. He claimed his first victories as manager of Coventry and Southampton in his fifth match in charge, in Celtic won in third game and in Boro also in fifth. They possess quality for top three (beside Newcastle and WBA). Needed a good manager, god excellent one –Strachan. After few good performances and unlucky results needed first win to turn the corner, got more than that. Jeremie Aliadiere, Seb Hines, Caleb Folan and Matthew Bates all remain on the sidelines. Big plus is returning one of the best wingers in Championship, Adam Johnson who return to the squad after missing Saturday's win for family reasons. 

It finally happened, Blackpool have lost at home in 10th game. Club hold (for them) very high 8th place, but they’re typical home team. Their pitch, Bloomfield Road, has smaller dimensions and the grounds are closer than usual which give a strong support to home team. However, they’ve been noticing a drop in results lately. Have just one win in last six games (Scunthorpe United 4-1, at home) and in last two at home noticed just one point (Preston 1-1). At Saturday, also at home, lost vs. Barnsley. They put a decent display, got a lead, but conceded two goals in the last five minutes. Striker Ben Burgess and midfielder Billy Clarke are both out after picking up knee injuries. 

After 5-1 win, Boro got a huge amount of confidence and second win in a row could be a start of good run of results. Kitson and Lita are killing duo in attack, this time will be supported with the crosses from the wing (Johnson) and don’t think visitors’ defense will be able to stop them. Also, big advantage for Boro will be attacking style of play that Blackpool carry. Here is too big difference in quality and considering moment of this game (Boro up, Blackpool down) I expect convincing home win. So, home win and handicap as a gamble.

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