Middlesbrough of England midfielder, John Mikel Obi has found himself up against tight odds in the search for a promotion ticket to the English Premier League, as statistics show that his side are poor at scoring goals.
While Mikel continues churning out top form and remarkable individual performances, the real issue for Boro remains in attack, as observers fear their penchant for missing chances in front of goal might ultimately be their biggest undoing.
Observers are celebrating the massive depth Mikel has brought into the team, as he believes his age in adding some of the experience he gained from his days with Chelsea to The Riverside outfit, but it appears he will have to do much more to take them up.
This is the crux of a report that tabulates the odds for and against a total of six clubs now in the hunt for two automatic promotion spots and four for the play-offs, as the race gets hotter in the Championship this term.
The report states in part: “Middlesbrough fans knew precisely what to expect from a Tony Pulis side – not exactly the highest levels of entertainment but functional and effective football. And, crucially, a role to play in the promotion shake-up.
“They’re fifth at the moment, exactly the same as they finished last season before being narrowly beaten by Aston Villa in the semi-finals of the play-offs.
“Inevitably they have scored the fewest number of goals (38) in the top six, but they’ve also conceded the lowest number in the division too (a mere 28). They also have the most clean sheets (15).
“Middlesbrough, who aim to keep their Championship stay down to just the two seasons, boast a game in hand on the four sides above them.
“They have a six-point cushion to seventh ahead of Saturday’s trip to Wigan and have won their last two matches, against QPR and Blackburn.
“Goals have been thin on the ground but Britt Assombalonga has excelled with 12 this season – six of his last seven have come in demanding away fixtures as well.
“But it’s the consistently rock solid displays from their back line – Aden Flint, Dael Fry, Daniel Ayala, George Friend and others – that will determine whether they get back up again.”