Could this be Aitor Karanka’s last game at Middlesbrough?

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He may have said he doesn’t feel like his future is uncertain, but the latest odds seem to suggest the opposite for Middlesbrough boss Aitor Karanka. In fact, there’s every reason to believe that today’s game against Stoke could be his last.

A fairly solid start to the Premier League campaign for Boro meant a mid-table finish looked likely, but things have gone horribly wrong for the Teessiders since the turn of the year.

They’ve not won a top-flight fixture since December 17, and have scored just three goals in their last nine matches in the division.

But while the goals have dried up, unfortunately for Karanka the time to add to his ranks has passed – and you can’t sack a whole team – leaving him directly in the firing lane.

Defeat against the Potters today could see Boro fall into the relegation zone. And given the form of some of the sides in and around them right now, it’s hard to see how Karanka’s men turn things around.

One solution may be to bring in a new boss as soon as possible, and there are plenty of potential successors available right now.

With that in mind, there’s certainly some value in the 6/4 currently on offer for Karanka NOT to be in charge for the last game of the season.

Fans are becoming frustrated at their side’s inability to score goal – and goals win games. They’re by far the lowest scoring side in the division right now, with 19 goals to their name from 26 games.

Defensively though, they’re actually performing pretty well.

They’ve conceded fewer than any other side from eighth downwards in the league, it’s just that things aren’t quite clicking in the final third.

Failure to score this afternoon would likely anger supporters. But failure to pick up at least a point at the Riverside would anger the board – and it could spell the end of Karanka’s reign.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing

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Alex Apati

Having graduated from Birmingham City University with a degree in Creative Writing with English, Alex joined the News team following a three year stint working for Ladbrokes behind the counter. When he's not watching darts, he's throwing them. Failing that you'll find him YouTubeing Thierry Henry's greatest Arsenal goals.