There’s a North East derby in the Championship on Saturday at 12:30pm as Sunderland welcome Middlesbrough to the Stadium of Light. On paper this should be a cracking affair given both sides were play-off semi-finalists last season.
We preview this fixture by highlighting some of the most valuable markets on offer.
Sunderland’s two long-term absentees remain Jay Matete and Corry Evans. Manager Tony Mowbray will also be without Dennis Cirkin, Jewison Bennette, Eliezer Mayenda, Timothee Pembele, Aji Alese and Alex Pritchard.
Middlesbrough’s Darragh Lenihan and Jonny Howson will be assessed ahead of the weekend after illness. Matt Crooks’ fitness will also be looked at, as Michael Carrick looks to build on his side’s recent upturn in form.
Over 3.5 goals @ 7/4
Sunderland have been very prolific in front of goal this season. They have scored 20 goals in their first 20 Championship matches and only Leicester City and Ipswich Town have scored more.
The Black Cats have won their last two games while Boro are enjoying their most productive run of the campaign with three consecutive victories. Things seem as though they are starting to fall into place for Michael Carrick now that his summer signings look to be bedding in. This should make Saturday’s clash a lot more competitive than it would have looked a few weeks ago.
There is a lot of attacking quality on both sides which could result in a flurry of goals at the Stadium of Light in this early kick-off.
Jack Clarke to score anytime @ 2/1
There is arguably no player in better form in the second tier right now than Sunderland’s Jack Clarke. After the club did well to hold onto their prized asset over the summer amidst several bids from Burnley, Clarke is continuing to give his all on Wearside.
The former Tottenham Hotspur and Leeds United man has scored seven goals in the Championship so far. He is the division’s joint-top scorer alongside Southampton striker Adam Armstrong.
His talent is something to behold and he is one of the best players in the division right now, if not the best. Clarke is the driving force of Mowbray’s attack and his creativity and skill allow him to get into great positions to score. Not to mention he’s been on penalty duty this term.