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3 things we expect to see in the Middlesbrough v Leeds match today

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Middlesbrough host automatic promotion chasing Leeds in what promises to be an exciting game at the Riverside today. 

Boro’s last outing saw them crash out of the FA Cup via a shock win for Newport, who have booked their place in the next round against Manchester City. 

Despite this, Tony Pulis’ men will not be too bothered about the FA Cup, and rather focus on the league, where they will be on a high from their dramatic win at the Hawthorns last Saturday. 

Britt Assombalonga scored a late double to over turn West Brom’s lead, allowing Boro to draw level with West Brom on points in the table – Moore’s side still lead on goal difference.

Leeds will be different opponents though, and who knows how they will react to their defeat at the hands of Norwich last weekend. 

Will they crack under pressure or will the defeat do the opposite and spur them on to victory?

Here, we look at three things we expect to see in the big match later today…

Tension

Given Leeds’ last fixture, we’d expect there to be a lot of tension in the air before kick-off, with the Riverside support getting behind their team to try and create an atmosphere that makes it hard for Leeds to thrive in. 

Leeds may start the game shakily, and misplace a couple of passes, which could get the Boro support well behind their team, which would work to the detriment of Leeds.

Assombalonga to start

After his substitute starring appearance last Saturday, we’d expect Britt Assombalonga to get the nod over Jordan Hugill up top for this one. 

Pulis did experiment with two up top against Newport but it didn’t work for starters, and also he will want more bodies in midfield to help stop Leeds’ build up. 

After his star performance, Assombalonga deserves a shot at the starting eleven. 

Jack Clarke to return 

After a poor performance from Jack Harrison against Norwich, it could be Jack Clarke’s time to start in an away game. 

The youngster gave Leeds a bit more directness in the second half after his substitution against the Canaries, so he may be given the chance to excel from the start here.  

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