Written by billythekid
There were mixed fortunes for the two sides in the League Cup (EFL) who meet in the Championship on Saturday. Middlesbrough went out of the competition on their own patch to fellow Championship side Barnsley 0-2. In the tie at Dean Court, the Cherries beat the Eagles (Palace) 11-10 on penalties, after the game ended 0-0 after 90+ minutes. There was an exciting penalty shootout with every player scoring from the spot, except for the two goalkeepers who both failed to score. It then went to the second round and David Brooks put his shot away, but Asmir Begovic saved Luka Meliojevic’s attempt, to put AFCB through to Round Three away to Manchester City.
From one Septuagenarian to another in managerial roles. First, we came up against Roy Hodgson with Crystal Palace and now our side travel to the North East to play against another very experienced manager’s team, Neil Warnock’s Middlesbrough. Roy is the oldest manager and Neil is the second oldest manager out of all the 92 clubs managers in the top four tiers of English football, they both have managed Crystal Palace.
Neil Warnock took on the manager’s job on the 23rd June this year, it was after Middlesbrough parted company with Jonathan Woodgate after his teams 0-3 home defeat against Swansea City, it was the first game after the lockdown. Neil Warnock had decided to leave Cardiff City in November 2019 after three years at the Welsh club. He took over at Boro when they were 21st in the Championship, under his guidance they finished the season in 17th place. Boro have signed three players so far, the latest is midfielder Sam Morsy from Wigan for an undisclosed fee. Defender Grant Hall after his contract expired from QPR. Goalkeeper Marcus Bettinelli on a season-long loan from Fulham.
Middlesbrough were promoted to the Premier League in second place from the Championship in 2015-16, one season after AFCB won the Championship. Boro lasted one season in the top league and finished in 19th position. Since 2017-18 season they have been in the Championship. They lost their first game of this season 1-0 away to Watford who were one of the teams relegated with the Cherries. The other side relegated from the Premier League were Norwich City, who we play at home the weekend after this Boro game.
The last time we played at the Riverside Stadium was in the 2016-17 season in the Premier League. Middlesbrough won 2-0. AFCB have never won at Middlesbrough’s ground. In all our visits to their ground in the league, AFCB have W 0, D 2, L 5.
In all competitions, AFCB have W 4, D 7, L 7.
Boro v AFCB
Middlesbrough Team News
Neil Warnock made a number of changes for their cup game, so expect changes for Saturday. Been no injury news so far. As has been reported, Neil Warnock will not be on the touchline having proved positive for COVID-19, we wish him a quick recovery.
Middlesbrough Player To Watch
Britt Assombalonga and Ashley Fletcher form a twin strike force and both players finished with 11 goals each last season. They have a good understanding with each other. Assombalonga has a consistent record of scoring, last season he was out for a time with injury. The previous two seasons, 2018-19 he finished with 14 goals and the previous season with 15 goals. He joined Middlesbrough for £15 million in 2017 from Nottingham Forest.
AFCB Team News
As Warnock did, Jason Tindall made a number of changes for the cup game. Adam Smith failed a late fitness test for the Palace game, so remains to be seen if he will be available for selection on Saturday. After some good performances in the Palace game, Jason Tindall will have food for thought re-team selection.
AFCB Player To Watch
Arnaut Danjuma is in fine form at the moment and scored a cracking winning goal against Blackburn Rovers.
After a very promising start to Jason Tindall’s managerial stint, I think this game will be a truer test of how we are going to be under JT.
This is a tough game but winnable IF we do the grunt work to put bodies on the line and set up to avoid us being overrun in midfield. Last time we went there we had just beaten hull 6-1 and got an impressive 0-0 draw with spurs only to roll up at Boro and meekly go down to a disappointing 2-0 defeat. That game was a feature of many away games under Eddie that we missed a winnable away 3 points. – Join the conversation, click here.