Often Partisan

Ravel for the Riverside? Middlesborough Preview

Blues make the long trip north today to face Tony Mowbray’s Middlesborough as they try to continue their push into mid-table safety. Can Blues go into the international break with a second win on the bounce?


Boro sit ninth in the Championship table on fifty-four points, eight points and five places ahead of Blues. However, their form of late has been terrible with seven defeats in their last ten games. Only Cardiff City have won more home games this season in the Championship than Middlesborough – which is underlined by Boro beating the league leaders on March 2 but Boro have lost three of their last six at home – including defeats to Barnsley and Millwall.

George Friend will be assessed before the game after coming off at half time in the defeat to Bristol City last Saturday but Faris Haroun and Josh McEachran are both expected to return from injury. Grant Leadbitter and Sammy Ameobi will also both have late fitness tests and Andre Bikey has an outside chance of returning. However, former Blues player Stuart Parnaby is out with a hamstring tear and Julio Arca is a long-term casualty with a toe injury.


Clark faces the decision whether to bring the subs who changed the game against Derby County into the starting eleven. Wes Thomas, who scored twice, should replace Peter Lovenkrands who was well off the pace last weekend whilst there is a chance Nathan Redmond could replace Chris Burke who was marked out of the game. Ravel Morrison is also pushing for inclusion after sparking the revival.

Mitch Hancox remains out although he could return after the international break as could Pablo Ibanez; otherwise there are no injuries in the squad other than the long term injuries suffered by Carr, Murphy, Packwood and King.

This is a tough game; despite Boro’s poor run of form of late they are excellent at home and i suspect Blues will be up against it. It’s the kind of game I can see Blues going 4-5-1, packing out the midfield and maybe nicking a point – with Blues position at the moment a defeat won’t be the end of the world but it might throw us back into the mixer and with that in mind I think Clark will look to not lose the game rather than gamble to win it.

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11 Responses to “Ravel for the Riverside? Middlesborough Preview”

  • Ali Duncan says:

    Stranger things have happened and we have to win at their ground at some point although I do have a feeling we’ll get a very hard earned draw. Leaving now and not looking forward to the journey – hopefully a valuable point will make it worthwhile. KRO.

  • skareggae72 says:

    If only we were playing Newcastle today,as we seem to do well there,
    Could be a day of looking over our shoulders,as the final rele-place is likely to be on(at least)41pts tonight,due to the bottom two playing,so all to play for.

  • dave mann says:

    cant make it today due to work commitments, but would love to see a midfield off
    burke, riley,morrisson & redmond with zigic& thomas up front, but i dont think
    clark will be that attack minded away from home due to the opposition and our
    track record at the riverside which isnt great. so it will be 5 in midfield and 1
    up front which will propably be zigic with elliot and spector instead of redmond
    and thomas who will warm the bench.
    a draw might be the best we can get but you never know do you1 KRO.

  • dave mann says:

    without dout it would be a gamble almajir and our position in the league would warrant that
    but it would be nice to see them together if and when we are safe in a home game along
    with 1 or 2 more teenagers just to give us some hope for next season.KRO.

  • kneesup mother brown says:

    Surely every manager has an element of “let’s not lose” inter-weaved into his match plan regardless of whether his team are at home or away . Hopefully Lee Clark will have the courage and belief in his team to prioritise an attempt to take all three points today . Wes and Nathan were very effective off the bench last week , as was Ravel , and maybe this injection of pace , strength and guile is a medicine we should be taking more regularly . I think we have some good young players who also possess the skill necessary to create chances to score , and a few goals and a little bravery will ensure our championship survival . Lets think positive whilst bearing in mind that our club is in difficult times and you can’t win them all . Good luck to the lads today.

  • Bluehobba says:

    So long as we can start right from the whistle, match them in every department I think the longer the game goes on, frustration will creep in to Boro. We seem to score in pretty much every game so this could be a 1-0 away win but as I said we must start right from the whistle KRO

    • chas says:

      Well done the Lads.. A very good three Points..Shame most of the other teams in the bottom won, but that is one game less for them to catch us ..

    • Bluehobba says:

      As I said earlier, we needed to start from the off and we did. We didn’t just nick a goal we could have had more. Big Zig nets Blues 50th goal in the championship this season but more importantly a welcome 3 points KRO

  • sutton apex says:

    great result – credit to clark in his team selection. full respect to 507 blues who went !! kro

  • RichardM says:

    Excellent win – I had a feeling we would sneak it! Dare I say it – well done Lee Clark!

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