In the quarter-finals of EFL Cup, Middlesbrough will host Burton at Riverside Stadium.
Middlesbrough have advanced into the quarterfinals after defeating Notts Co (4:3), Rochdale (2:1), Preston (3:2) and most recently Crystal Palace (1:0). Looking at how Middlesbrough is performing in the Championship, they are currently 6th with an overall record of 9-9-4 and 1-2-2 in the past 5 games. Most recently, they have suffered a defeat against QPR (2:1), which meant they have not won a match since 24th of November (4 winless games). All in all, Middlesbrough form recently was disappointing, as they only managed to take 2 points in the last 4 games. In their last match against QPR, Middlesbrough conceded a goal in the 4th minute which was the only goal in the first half. QPR had less ball possession (46%) but more goal attempts (8) and 1 shot on goal. Middlesbrough on the other side had 54% ball possession only 3 goal attempts and 0 shots on goal. The second half was not much different, with QPR having 52% possession, 9 goal attempts and 1 shot on goal, Middlesbrough had 48% ball possession 5 goal attempts and 1 shot on goal. We did see Middlesbrough scoring an equalizer in the 51st minute but the score did not hold on for long, as QPR managed to score their 2nd goal only 9 minutes later. The score of 2:1 held on for the remaining 30 minutes as both teams only managed to shoot on goal once in the 2nd half.
Burton Albion is in the spotlights in the EFL as they are the only team from League One left in the competition, with all other 7 being from the Premier League, however, they did not have an easy road to get here. They defeated Shrewsbury (1:2), Aston Villa (0:1), Burnley (1:2) and Nottingham (2:3). The fact that they are currently 15th team in League one makes their performance in the EFL that much more impressive. In the league, they are holding an 8-3-10 record with 2 wins in their last 5 games. Most recently they have been defeated by Fleetwood in a match that saw the only goal being scored from a penalty kick (1:0). Burton is struggling in the league due to their poor offence. In the past 5 games, they have scored only 4 goals and only 26 in the 21 games this season. They are coming into this match as an underdog, but I don’t believe they will go into the match feeling like a lesser team.
Neither of the teams are performing as well as they would hope and the main reason behind that is their poor offence. Just like Burton, Middlesbrough has not been scoring a lot of goals recently. In their last 5 games, they managed to score only 5 goals but they conceded 8. I can see this match ending in a low scoring one and I would not be surprised if it ended scoreless, however, we will take a safer bet of under 2.5.
Prediction: Under 2.50 goals
Odds: 2.03 Matchbook, 2.00 Pinnacle