Middlesbrough vs Sunderland Betting Tips: Mowbray to haunt Boro on his return to the Riverside
Middlesbrough vs Sunderland Odds
For the first time in over four years, Monday pits Middlesbrough and Sunderland against once another for a hotly-contested Tees-Wear derby.
Middlesbrough vs Sunderland Tips
Who said Mondays are dull? The Championship is flipping the script on this typically drab start to the week by delivering us a fixture that has all the potential for goals, bust ups, drama and everything in between.
Bragging rights are one thing in a local clash like this, but there are also implications for the season ahead at stake. That divide between those who look to be challenging for a route out of the division and those fighting at the other end to stay afloat already seems to be being established after only eight games.
Carrying so much expectation for the new campaign, Boro have fallen flat on their faces when it comes to showing credentials for mounting a serious claim at promotion. For Sunderland, change is abound following Alex Neil's switch from Wearside to Stoke, with a baptism of fire potentially on the cards for seasoned gaffer Tony Mowbray entering the vacancy.
After a collection of winners over the weekend, including 3/1 and 18/1 successes, @LukeHam94 has been tasked with continuing the run during Monday's clash.
It wouldn't be a derby match preview without dipping into the card markets. In the country and particularly in the second tier, they don't come much feistier than this.
Without this fixture to look forward to for four years, supporters will be more desperate than ever to see their team take home three points and the atmosphere inside the Riverside Stadium will undoubtedly reflect that.
Tony Mowbray enjoyed a 3-0 win over Rotherham in his first outing as Sunderland boss, but this will be a much greater challenge; one that will be made ever more hostile given his connections to the home side during both his playing and managerial career.
The 58-year-old managed the worst disciplined team in the division last term in Blackburn, who accrued 107 yellow cards and five reds across the 46-game league campaign. And would you believe it: both he and the opposition saw received sending offs at this very stadium all the way back in August last year.
Most recently these two played out a 3-3 thriller during Sunderland's relegation season from the second tier and low and behold, a red card was brandished in that fixture too.
To continue that level of coincidence, referee Darren Bond took charge of 10 games in the division last season and removed just one player in these fixtures; that red coming in a game involving Boro.
So far this season, Middlesbrough matches have seen two red cards - one for themselves and one for their opposition - while Sunderland have been shown a red card once from their opening seven games.
Under Chris Wilder MFC are far from restrained, racking up the third-highest tally of yellow cards last season with 101, also seeing three reds over the course of the season. That's carried over into the new campaign where they have the joint-fourth highest number of yellows with 17.
But this is the type of fixture that no matter who is in charge, there is a spellbinding quality to it - one that brings out the best and worst from its players, managers and supporters in a variety of different ways; no less anger, passion and fight: all things which bode well for a red card to make an appearance.
Coming into this one with such a poor run of form - a stretch that has seen them win only one of their opening seven matches - Boro still remain the odds-on favourites for victory. Sunderland are around the 7/2 mark with most firms, but given their comprehensive win over Rotherham, Mowbray's ability to see out tight games and we're taking the 19/5 on offer at both Unibet and SBK for the Black Cats to take home all the spoils.
Poor form doesn't have the same effect in these matches as it does usually since these games exist on a knife edge. Five of the last six victories for a team in this fixture have been by a single goal margin just for some further context.
Saying that, there will be some psychological side effects to such a barren run, with Mowbray and co carrying that new manager bounce in their stride for Monday's visit.
The price on offer for a side who have amassed almost double the points of their rivals so far, now possessing a manager who has the nous to deliver narrow wins is simply too good to ignore.
Please gamble responsibly.
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