Predicted Middlesbrough line-up to face Leeds United in the Championship
Middlesbrough will be looking to get back to winning ways when they face off against EFL Championship title contenders Leeds United on Saturday afternoon at the Riverside Stadium.
The Teessiders were handed a shock 2-0 defeat by lower-league outfit Newport County in their FA Cup fourth-round replay on Tuesday night. Following that, Tony Pulis’ side will be aiming to bounce back with a strong performance against Marcelo Bielsa’s team this weekend.
The last time these two teams met, was back in September last year at the Elland Road. That game ended in a goalless draw. Currently, in the fifth position in the table, Boro have a chance to move into the fourth place, should they win and West Brom drop points.
Jordan Hugill and Britt Assombalonga came off with some minor problems during the game against Newport County, but are expected to be ready for the weekend. Lewis Wing is carrying a groin injury and is a doubt, while George Saville, who missed the FA Cup tie with an ankle problem, could miss out again.
Here’s how Middlesbrough line up against the Whites on Saturday afternoon:
Predicted Middlesbrough XI
Manager: Tony Pulis
Darren Randolph (GK)
Having been left out of the cup tie against Newport County, the former West Ham United goalkeeper should return to the starting line-up on Saturday.
Daniel Ayala (CB)
The Spanish centre-half did not have the best of nights against Newport on Tuesday and needs to step it up against the second-placed team in the league this weekend.
Aden Flint (CB)
The summer signing also endured a forgettable outing in the cup tie, but has been a reliable performer for the Teessiders at the back and should feature from kick-off again.
Dael Fry (CB)
The young defender has been a regular in the lineup for Boro this term and should hold on to his place in the three-man backline on Saturday afternoon.
Ryan Shotton (RWB)
The 30-year-old should feature as the right wing-back for Pulis’ side and will have the task of keeping the Leeds United wide players in check.
Jonny Howson (CM)
He has featured in every Championship match for the Teesside outfit this season and has contributed with five assists. Howson should be in line for a starting berth against the Peacocks.
John Obi Mikel (CM)
The former Chelsea midfielder started in the league win over West Brom last weekend but wasn’t involved in the cup tie. His experience can come in handy for Boro in this crucial match.
Muhamed Besic (CM)
Besic was another midfielder who wasn’t part of the starting XI for the Teesside outfit on Tuesday night. The on-loan Evertonian should be in line for a start on Saturday.
George Friend (LWB)
The 31-year-old is the only specialist left-back at Pulis’ disposal and should feature once again from kick-off against Marcelo Bielsa’s side this weekend.
Jordan Hugill (ST)
The 26-year-old is a regular fixture in attack for the home team and has scored seven times in all competitions this term. He is expected to start in Saturday’s game against Leeds.
Britt Assombalonga (ST)
The former Nottingham Forest forward had little impact against Newport County but had scored a brace against West Brom last week. His heroics of last weekend should warrant him a starting berth on Saturday.