BORO BORING THEIR WAY TO THE TOP
GOALS may win games but it’s defences that win titles. So Middlesbrough must be nailed on to win the Championship, right?
Heading into the weekend, Boro had shipped just 27 goals in their 38 games this term, an incredible 13 less than anyone else in the division.
That’s an average of 0.7 per game which, if maintained, would see Aitor Karanka’s miserly men finish the campaign with a goals against tally of 33.
In the last ten years, no side has conceded fewer than 40 goals in a Championship season and failed to win promotion. In fact, the team with the best defence has remained in the second tier only twice – Crystal Palace in 2007-08 and Stoke City the year before.
So should we hotfoot it down to Ladbrokes? Well, not so fast. Because the last decade also tells us that no team has scored fewer than 80 goals and gone up.
And with just 59 to their name pre-weekend – the lowest in the entire top six – Boro would need to hand out some mighty hidings in their final eight games to even get close.
In short, then, I haven’t got a clue who will win the Championship. But I know this – should Middles brough triumph then, statistically, they will be the most boring team to win promotion for a bloody long time.
TENSE: Aitor Karanka