Leeds eager to halt recent slump against Middlesbrough Mark November 16, 2017 Leeds United 1 Comment Leeds United host Middlesbrough on Sunday desperately needing to end their wretched run of recent form. Thomas Christiansen’s side made an excellent start to the season, but one win in their last seven games has sent them tumbling down to 10th in the Championship. Bookmakers believe Leeds could have their work cut out against Boro, with the visitors priced at 8/5 to win the game. The Whites are available at 15/8, with the draw on offer at 21/10. Christiansen will be sweating on the fitness of winger Stuart Dallas after the Northern Ireland star limped off injured during his side’s 1-0 home World Cup qualifying play-off defeat by Switzerland in Belfast last week. Middlesbrough will be without Cyrus Christie for the trip to Elland Road, after the defender picked up his fifth yellow card of the season in the 1-0 derby win against Sunderland. The home side can take plenty of encouragement from their recent record against Boro, having won five and drawn two of their last nine meetings. Last year’s corresponding fixture between the two sides finished 0-0 and a repeat of that scoreline can be backed at 6/1 this weekend. Four of Leeds’ last six home games have seen three or more goals, so the 4/1 on offer for a home win and over 2.5 goals in the game could be worth an interest. Despite his side’s recent troubles striker Pierre-Michel Lasogga has remained in decent scoring form, grabbing two in his last four league appearances. The German is 5/1 to grab the opener on Sunday, but search for the best first goalscorer odds before wagering on the game. Kalvin Phillips’ goal against Sheffield United at the end of October was his fifth this term, and he can be backed at 17/4 to add to his tally this weekend. Sunday’s clash sees a return to Elland Road for former Leeds manager Garry Monk, and the current Boro boss is sure to receive a hostile reception. After an indifferent start to life at the Riverside Stadium, Monk has started to work his magic. One defeat in six games has fired Boro up to 5th in the table, although they are only three points ahead of Leeds heading into the game. Boro’s last success at Elland Road was a 1-0 victory back in 2011 and they are priced at 11/2 to match that feat on Sunday. Britt Assombalonga has been in impressive form for Monk’s side this season, scoring eight goals in 16 league appearances. The striker will fancy his chances against a Leeds defence that has kept just one clean sheet in their last nine games. Odds of 7/1 for the 24-year-old to score two or more goals during the game look tempting. With Sunday’s fixture likely to be a feisty affair, Grant Leadbitter is of interest at odds of 5/1 in the anytime goalscorer market. The midfielder was on target from the penalty spot in Boro’s recent 3-1 victory at Hull City and he may get the chance to add another on Sunday. Both sides remain prominent in the betting to secure promotion this season, with Boro priced at 5/2 and Leeds on offer at 10/1. With the Whites currently just three points off a play-off place, a victory over Monk’s side would see those odds tumble. Despite their recent struggles Leeds squad looks strong enough to force their way back into the play-off picture. Odds of 4/1 to secure a top six spot looks decent value, and three points on Sunday would change the mood around Elland Road. It’s difficult to see either side sitting back this weekend, so odds of Evens for both teams to score looks too good to miss.