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Jon Riley 19th Mar 2012 - 16:00

League table not good reading for the Hammers

West Ham v Middlesbrough - Tuesday 19:45 - live on Sky Sports 2

West Ham United may have salvaged a late draw against Leeds in their last match but that point at Elland Road could not stop the Hammers from being replaced in the automatic promotion spots by rampant Reading.

Saturday's 1-1 draw (Correct score 13/2) was the team's third successive result of that scoreline and it the abundance of draws that is threatening to derail Sam Allardyce in his quest to restore West Ham to the Premier League. The East London side may be unbeaten in eight matches (West Ham or Draw 1/5) but only three of those have been victories, leaving them three points behind Reading.
Tuesday's match provides West Ham to end this drawing run and take points off another side with aspirations of promotion this Summer.

Boro remain in sixth place in the Championship despite losing their last two matches without scoring a goal in the process (West Ham to win to nil 2/1). Tony Mowbray's side had looked like potential automatic challengers but a recent record of three defeats from their last five, has seen their ambitions more firmly set on the play-offs.

The match betting for this intriguing Sky Sports clash sees the hosts installed as narrow 4/5 favourites. West Ham can look back on an excellent recent record against Middlesbrough, especially at Upton Park. United are unbeaten in six clashes with the visitors, winning five of them and have not failed to take all three points at home against Boro since 2000. West Ham defeated the Teeside club by a score 0f 2-0 (Correct score 8/1) and will look to complete an impressive league double.

The travelling Boro fans will hope that their young team can shrug off the Upton Park hoodoo and get back to winning ways. Boro can be backed at 19/5 to win the match or a more appealing market might be Middlesborough or the draw at 10/11. Despite a recent stumble in their bid for promotion, Tony Mowbray will rightly be proud of his team this season and a victory would be a third on the road in four away games.

James Tomkins is West Ham's latest injury worry. A calf problem meant the England U21 man had to be substituted against Leeds and is set to miss out. Winger Ricardo Vaz Te has been sidelined with a hamstring injury while Winston Reid (head), Julien Faubert (groin) and Guy Demel (thigh) are still carrying knocks.

Middlesbrough boss Tony Mowbray will be without influential midfielder Barry Robson once again and to a further blow is the absence of utility man Rhys Williams, still recovering from an ankle ligament injury. Faris Haroun's hamstring injury continues to be assessed, but he remains a doubt for the game at Upton Park.

West Ham will once again look to their captain and talisman Kevin Nolan (11/2 first goal) to carry the attacking impetus for the team and back up the strikers. The former Newcastle and Bolton man is the focus of the William Hill Match Winner offer and can be backed at an enhanced 5/2 to score anytime in a West Ham win.

Boro will hope that top scorer Marvin Emnes rediscovers his shooting boots at a crucial point in the season. His goals last year helped push Swansea in the latter stages of their promotion campaign and Boro fans will hope he can do the same for them. The Dutchman is 7/1 to open the scoring and 2/1 to notch anytime.



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