Middlesbrough have suffered a poor run of form at just the wrong time, with three successive defeats having Teesside nerves jangling at the prospect of blowing their play-off chances.
Failure to rectify the downturn in form will undoubtedly see them overtaken in a play-off race that is as wide-open as it has been for many seasons.
Seven teams are within seven points of Middlesbrough, meaning any side all the way down to Hull in tenth will fancy their chances of putting a run together to make a charge to the post-season games.
Sheffield Wednesday, under Steve Bruce, are the perfect example of that, with their double digit unbeaten run seeing them come from nowhere to the heart of the battle.
Boro’ have to put things right before it is too late, but they have a massive task to end their miserable run this weekend, with a teatime game against leaders Norwich at the Riverside.
But after this game, the fixtures do not appear to bad for the Teessiders, and we have crunched the numbers, and see Tony Pulis’s side picking up the points needed to secure their play-off place.
Crucially, if our predictions prove correct, Boro’ will finish fifth, avoiding the unlucky loser in the automatic promotion race — who will be Sheffield United in our opinion.
It will see them take on West Bromwich Albion in the semi final, and although that will be an incredibly difficult game, it will be better than it could have been.
We have Boro’ losing just two more games this season — Norwich on Saturday and the away game at Aston Villa — while managing draws at Swansea and Nottingham Forest.
Strugglers Bolton and Rotherham look like two straightforward away games, while Bristol City, Hull, Stoke and Reading will be seen off at the Riverside.
That said, the longer the poor run goes on, the more confidence takes a hit, and the domino effect will see each game become harder and harder as a result.
But as long as they get back to winning ways soon, we cannot envisage them missing out. Boro’ fans will be hoping for the same.
What are your thoughts on your run-in Boro’ fans? Do you think they will get out of their slump soon? Who is to blame? Let us know below…
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