Given their current goal drought the last thing Middlesbrough need when they take on Leeds at the Riverside is England’s youngest ever international goalkeeper lining up against them.
Barely 48 hours before Boro’s televised Saturday lunchtime clash against Leeds, the Yorkshire club announced they had struck a deal with Premier League Stoke to take Jack Butland on loan for the remainder of the season.
While this is splendid news for the visiting Whites, who have endured a tumultuous start to 2014 both on and off the pitch, if Butland does indeed debut then he’ll make the home side’s current task of ending a five-game Championship goal drought that much tougher.
After a couple of early wins for new boss Aitor Karanka, Boro have been busy turning their fans away shaking heads in frustration and probably wondering whether the next goal will ever come, as they’ve sandwiched three goal-less draws between a pair of defeats to nil.
As such, backing Leeds to prevail at 13/5 holds far more attraction than the 21/20 on offer for the home win, while for such serial drawers as Boro the 23/10 about shared spoils edges the match-bet options.
It appears that slipping on the red shirt of Boro has done nothing to alleviate January signing Danny Graham’s long-winded malaise in front of goal, which started two clubs ago at Swansea.
With Albert Adomah and Emmanuel Ledesma equally shy in front of goal lately, the 10/1 on a third successive Riverside stalemate is juicy also.
Leeds winning to nil at 5/1 could be the snip here, though 23/10 feels like a more than reasonable return on a covering bet of under 1.5 total goals in the match.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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