Middlesbrough v Crystal Palace EFL Cup betting preview and tips
Middlesbrough are clearly among the best teams in the Championship, with Tony Pulis treating this division like a comfortable pair of slippers.
The Welshman replaced Garry Monk last season and completely steadied the ship at the Riverside Stadium, with Pulis unable to engineer an automatic promotion berth and eventually missing out in the play-offs against Aston Villa.
It’s been more of the same from Boro this season who have strengthened the central defence by recruiting Aden Flint from Bristol City and this man mountain has helped the Teeside club to numerous clean sheets.
There’s a fair chance that Middlesbrough can do a number on a Crystal Palace side who are badly short of goals this term and Roy Hodgson is probably ruing a failure to recruit a decent striker last summer.
Christian Benteke is on the sidelines but has never been the answer at Selhurst Park, with Jordan Ayew serving up some turgid performances and it’s possible that Connor Wickham will get a run out for the visitors in this clash.
Boro will be confident of keeping their opponents at bay and causing some problems at the other end, although they were thwarted at home to Rotherham last week which illustrates that they often lack the nous to break a defensively-organised team down.
Adama Traore going to Wolves robs them of a fantastic attacking outlet from out wide, with Mo Besic clearly their most creative player although the team often struggle to fashion chances for Britt Assombalonga.
That said, we expect Middlesbrough to cause problems and they’re probably the strongest side from set pieces which is where this game could be won.
Middlesbrough to win @ 3.30 with bet365