Simon Mail previews this weekend's clash at the Riverside Stadium where the visitors look generously priced...
"The hosts are without a win in their last eight league clashes against West Ham. Boro are five points below the Hammers in the table and have won just one of their last seven league games."
Middlesbrough 2.526/4 v West Ham 3.39/4; The Draw 3.259/4
Aitor Karanka's side may not be the crowd pleasers of the Premier League but Middlesbrough have proved durable opponents this season. The side have built from the back and come into this game off the back of three successive clean sheets. But their lack of end product has been an issue with the side held to goalless draws in their last two league matches.
The target is survival this season following promotion from the Championship and Boro have given themselves a decent chance of avoiding the drop. Karanka's side are 16th in the table and have a four-point cushion over the bottom three. The lack of goals are a concern, with 17 the fewest by some distance in the league, which has led to the recent arrivals of strikers Rudy Gestede and Patrick Bamford.
It has been a turbulent season for the Hammers and this has been summed up by the drama involving Dimitri Payet this month. The playmaker has refused to play for the club and insists he wants to return to France with his unsettled family. But West Ham showed togetherness in adversity last weekend to claim a much-needed 3-0 home win over Crystal Palace.
Most of the Irons' problems have come at their new home, the London Stadium, where they have struggled to settle following the move from Upton Park. West Ham are still working their way back up the table after a very poor start to the campaign. But four wins from their last six league games is something to build on for the remainder of the season.
Boro are the 2.526/4 favourites for this weekend's game but there is little to justify backing them at this stingy price. The hosts are without a win in their last eight league clashes against West Ham. Boro are five points below the Hammers in the table and have won just one of their last seven league games.
West Ham are 3.39/4 for the victory and this is a much more tempting proposition. Slaven Bilic's side are steadily climbing up the league and will take confidence from last weekend's win over the Eagles. While Boro are stuttering, the visitors at least have some momentum and this trip will hold no fears.
The draw is priced at 3.259/4 and will probably also attract some interest considering Boro are involved. Karanka's side have been held more than any other team in the league with eight draws this season. But only one of West Ham's last ten matches have finished level so this lessens the appeal of this outcome.
Draw No Bet
West Ham appear to have a lot more in their favour and are a better team than Boro. The hosts' advantage at home has been overplayed considering they have lost five of their ten league games at the Riverside Stadium. The Hammers appear galvanised by the Payet saga and are worth supporting to back up their win over Palace. But with Boro's record of stalemates, it is worth having the draw on side as a safety net at 2.285/4.
Martin Atkinson takes charge of this weekend's game with the referee only sending off one player in 20 games so far this campaign. This was the same number of red cards he dished out in 46 matches last season.
Michail Antonio has been directly involved in more Premier League goals than any other West Ham player this season scoring eight goals. Antonio can be backed at 3.3512/5 to score this weekend.
Back West Ham draw no bet at 2.285/4
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