Middlesbrough look to be on to a good thing under Michael Carrick and have a chance to boost their Championship promotion hopes against Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park on Thursday.

In contrast, Rovers’ fast start to the season seems to be stuttering, having won just one of their last four Championship games and most recently losing 2-1 to Sunderland on Boxing Day.

With Boro winning four of their last five, including 4-1 at home to Wigan Athletic on Monday, they can cut the gap between themselves and Blackburn to three points and boost their play-off hopes in the process.

Blackburn vs Middlesbrough Betting Tips

  • Middlesbrough to win and both to score @ 6/4
  • Chuba Akpom anytime goalscorer @ 15/8

Team news

Blackburn trio Sammie Szmodics, Tyrhys Dolan and Jack Vale all missed out at Sunderland through injury, but are thought to be challenging for a return to the matchday 18.

Lewis Travis is pushing for a place in the starting XI after doing well off the bench on Wearside.

Middlesbrough are likely to be forced into a change after Jonny Howson was withdrawn at half-time against Wigan with a head knock and another former Leeds United man in Alex Mowatt could come in.

Riley McGree was rested against the Latics after a busy few weeks that have seen him impress in Australia’s run to the knockout rounds of the World Cup and he could also return.

Latest Blackburn vs MIddlesbrough Betfred Odds

Middlesbrough to win and both to score @ 6/4

Boro have accrued 16 points from Carrick’s eight games in charge and they were fantastic in beating Wigan 4-1 on Boxing Day.

After previous worries about relegation, the Teessiders are now only looking up.

Blackburn previously led the Championship, beating Middlesbrough in October, but Jon Dahl Tomasson’s side have failed to kick on in recent months and suffered their 11th loss of the season on Boxing Day.

They need to find something special but Thursday may come too early. However, there are areas for them to target.

Boro have been a joy to watch under Carrick but have kept just one clean sheet since he took over and can be vulnerable.

The trip to Ewood Park could prove fruitful, but their defensive deficiencies mean it will not be easy.

Chuba Akpom anytime goalscorer @ 15/8

Part of Boro’s improvement has been the form of Chuba Akpom, who has gone from a well-travelled striker to a proven goal-getter.

The 27-year-old spent last season on loan in Greece at PAOK, but after only netting seven times in 34 appearances, already has 12 goals in 18 outings this term.

Akpom has scored four in three games since the Championship resumed, including a hat-trick at home to Wigan on Boxing Day.

With Rovers failing to keep a clean sheet in their last four Championship outings, the former Arsenal man will be confident of extending his recent run.

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