Match Preview and Competition: Middlesbrough away and a point to prove?

I was going to start with lots of optimism but the simple fact is we're fifth or sixth and the season is over. Martin O'Neill has however, started his scouting trips and while he still doesn't know how much money he has to spend, it's a good sign and one to feel positive about.

The season isn't over for Middlesbrough though and I don't see any reason why, if we go out playing pretty much the same style football we've played for most of this year now, why we should expect anything other than a defeat or a point, although we've tried so many times recently a victory won't be that much of a surprise.


We are 8/5 to win at Paddy Power, the thing is, so are Middlesbrough. The draw is at 12/5 and that is exactly what Marky Mark thinks will happen and if I were to be having money on this game, I think I'd go for a draw too. 12/5 is a good price for a result we all must fancy will happen.

Moving on and in case you didn't know, which I fancy you do, this is the last away game of the season and it would be nice to get a victory tomorrow, if only for the away support, who have been absolutely fantastic this season. I've attended a couple of away games this season and it is definitely something I intended doing more of next season.

But, back to the match and I want to write positive things, I really do, but I want this season over now and I want the next one to begin, so instead of me just going on and on about this match, tactics and formations, we'll have a competition for tomorrow instead. Pick the right score and you can win a t-shirt.

It's simple, if you pick 2-1 to us and it's 2-1 to us your name gets put into a hat and I'll pick out the winner on Sunday morning when I'm doing the post-mortem. But, back to this weekend, I'm skipping the game and looking at the relegation battle instead.

Basically, West Brom, Middlesbrough, Hull and Newcastle are fighting for survival and it really does make for an interesting weekend. I'd quite like West Brom to stay up and I'd love to see Newcastle relegated, but I fancy it will all come down to next weekend.

However if Fulham could pull of a surprise away win in Newcastle, it would be great, but asking West Brom to beat Liverpool at home on Sunday really does depend on United beating Arsenal in the early game tomorrow morning. See all the potential twists and to some extent, reliance on other results.

It's going to be fun isn't it. Anyway, take your guess on the score tomorrow below and only one guess per user name. I'm off to cut some board with my new circular saw.

Click here for some Martin Laursen wallpapers for you computer. Want to attend the Midlands Masters? Click here for a competition over at AVillaFan.com