Middlesbrough will look to return to winning ways when they face Reading in the EFL Championship. Boro sits third in the league table and are fighting for promotion. Reading sits in the mid-table and are heading towards safety. Reading won the reverse fixture 1-0, and Boro will look to avenge the loss. We look at some of the stats of these two teams that could predict the outcome of the match.
Middlesbrough sits third in the league table with 17 wins, six draws, and 11 losses. Boro have managed to score 56 goals this season but their defence has been a bit leaky and conceded 40 in total. The team averages 1.56 xG per match. The above viz shows the percentile rank of Middlesbrough in comparison to other teams in the league. Boro have a decent percentile rank in attacking and possession stats. Although the team is not ranked high for taking shots, but they manage to find the back of the net and are clinical with their finishing.
Reading sits in 14th place with 13 wins, five draws, and 15 losses. They have performed way better than what they did last season. Reading have scored 38 and conceded 48 goals in the current season. They average 1.12 xG per match. The above pizza chart shows that Reading have a very low percentile rank in all the departments. They have managed to produce the results from these stats.
Boro in attack and struggles in the last match
Middlesbrough are not a very attacking side, but their ability to convert chances has put them in contention for promotion. They average 29.53 positional attacks and 1.85 counterattacks per match. Overall, Boro takes 11.29 shots and have an accuracy rate of 36%. In the last match, things didn’t go in Middlesbrough’s favour. They created 39 positional attacks and attempted 12 shots, with only three on target. The team had a low xG rate due to their inability to attempt shots from easy goal-scoring positions. West Brom Albion didn’t give them enough chances to take shots, and Boro were forced to attempt them from wider zones.
Middlesbrough likes to keep the ball and averages 55.65% possession. In the last match, the team attacked from both sides. The penetration carries map in the above viz shows that Boro stretched the defence on the left side. On the right side, they focused more on penetrating the penalty box. The progressive passes viz also indicate that these passes came from both flanks. Reading will have to deal with this threat possessed by Boro players.
Reading’s recent win and their attacking zones
Reading are not a very attacking side. They average 24.18 positional attacks and 1.15 counterattacks per match. The visitors only attempt 8.97 and have an accuracy rate of 33.8%.
In the last match, Reading only created 20 positional attacks and attempted seven shots in total. They managed to hit the target four times and scored three goals against a struggling Blackpool side.
Reading like to carry the ball down the right flank. In their last match, the team made most of the box penetrations from the right side. Boro will have to tighten their defence from this particular side and stop Reading from getting the ball to these dangerous areas.
Cameron Archer completed a loan move to Boro in the winter transfer window. The 21-year-old has made eight appearances since then and scored three goals along with two assists. He averages around two shots per match and will be hungry to add more goals to his name.
Tom Ince has been Reading’s top performer in the current season. The Englishman has nine goals and four assists to his name. In the last match, Ince scored a brace and earned his side an easy win. Ince will carry the highest threat for Reading in this match.
Paddy McNair is a confirmed absentee in the Middlesbrough lineup.
Andy Yiadom has served his suspension and is likely to return to the starting lineup.
According to the 1×2 betting odds, Middlesbrough are the favourites to win the match. They have an odds of 1.4 to win the match. Reading have odds of around 6.47 to win the match. As per the over/under lines, the match is expected to be a low-scoring one.
Middlesbrough will look to return to winning ways against Reading. They are likely to attack more and Reading will have a tough task in hand. Michael Carrick will also expect his team to keep a clean sheet in the match.
Visuals via TFA data viz engine