Hartlepool United vs Middlesbrough predictions for this friendly pre-season game that will be played on Friday. Who will prevail between these two neighbours? Read on for all our free betting tips and predictions.
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Match Live Friday, 14h July at 7:00 pm In:
Hartlepool United vs Middlesbrough Predictions
Middlesbrough and Hartlepool United Face Off: An Early Season Test of Mettle
– Hartlepool United’s defensive vulnerabilities were highlighted last season, conceding a whopping 78 goals.
– Boro maintained dominant control during their games, with an average ball possession of 58.0%.
As the upcoming Championship season rapidly approaches, Middlesbrough continue their preparation by facing off against North-East neighbours, Hartlepool United in a friendly match. Meanwhile, Hartlepool, now in the National League, are prepping for their first summer fixture. Both teams are at contrasting junctures and each is eager to prove a point and set a positive tone for their respective campaigns.
A Rallying Cry
Middlesbrough, missing out on a Championship playoff berth, are in a tricky spot. Having looked like firm favourites for Premier League promotion at one stage, Michael Carrick has a tough task in reviving the team spirit. His response has been a major squad shakeup at Riverside Stadium. A blend of familiar and unfamiliar faces, such as Seny Dieng from Queens Park Rangers and young prospect Morgan Rogers from Manchester City, have joined the ranks. Dutch U-20 international Rav van den Berg is another intriguing addition.
With potential Premier League loan signings on the horizon, Middlesbrough’s squad depth is impressive. The bar has been set higher than the 2022-23 season. They commenced their pre-season campaign triumphantly, courtesy of a solitary Marcus Forss goal that edged Vitoria de Guimaraes in a closed-door friendly on July 8.
Hartlepool’s Fresh Start
In contrast, Hartlepool United have adopted a different pre-season strategy, yet to kick a ball this summer. However, their transfer market activities have been bustling. The newly promoted National League side’s manager, John Askey, has recruited a surge of talent from both the EFL and non-league, ensuring his squad remains competitive this season. Notable arrivals include Joel Dixon, previously of Bolton Wanderers, and Kieran Wallace, a regular face in League Two action from Mansfield Town.
New Players, New Dynamics
Boro’s new signings, including Alex Gilbert and Sammy Silvera, have made their debuts. In particular, the much-anticipated presence of Seny Dieng between the sticks could be a game-changer for Boro, indicating a possible split in squad duties across two games happening within 24 hours of each other.
Hartlepool manager, Askey, also aims to give ample game time to his newcomers, like Peter Jameson, Kieran Burton, Matty Dolan, Emmanuel Dieseruvwe, and Chris Wreh. This game certainly provides a different challenge for Boro, and the additional game experience should only help them hone their strategy for the upcoming season.
The Battle Lines Are Drawn
The statistics from the 22/23 season reveal a clear contrast between Middlesbrough and Hartlepool United. Boro’s attacking prowess was evident as they netted an average of 1.8 goals per game, with a significant majority of their goals coming from inside the box. They also displayed an impressive 58.0% ball possession, signifying their dominance in controlling the game.
On the other hand, Hartlepool struggled last season, scoring an average of 1.1 goals per game and conceding a staggering 78 goals over the course of their campaign. Their defensive frailties were exposed, and it’s an area they’ll need to strengthen for the upcoming season.
Drawing from the teams’ performances last season, the difference in quality and the changes they’ve made in the off-season, our predictions tilt in favour of Middlesbrough. Their superior attack, coupled with Hartlepool’s defensive weaknesses, suggest a rather comfortable win for Carrick’s side, however the friendly environment and the significant rotation could facilitate goals coming from both ends, making BTTS a decent opportunity. It is likely we will have a goal-fest is on the horizon with a 3-1 victory predicted for Middlesbrough in the correct score market.
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