After a thumping 2-0 win over Sheffield United in midweek to take them back into the top half of the table, Middlesbrough will take on the challenge of newly-promoted Hull City this weekend.
Neil Warnock’s side have had a relatively mixed start to the new season, with three wins, four draws and four losses to their name so far. It’s been enough to keep them at the right end of the table though and a win on Saturday could take them even closer towards the top six.
After that superb victory on Tuesday, there isn’t many more injury worries for the side to contend with and they’d do well to stick with most of the side that sealed that emphatic result.
Here then, is our predicted XI for the game against Hull this weekend.
After the display against Sheffield United, it’s hard to warrant dropping any player from that fixture. Middlesbrough are contending with the same injury issues as they did on Tuesday and look likely to be without Anfernee Dijksteel, Marcus Browne and Onel Hernandez still. That means there is no place in this lineup for any of those three.
Sporar has looked decent at times but perhaps the only change could be giving Uche Ikpeazu another go alongside Duncan Watmore, who deserves to stay in the side after bagging a goal in midweek.
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Sol Bamba was another solid player in midweek and should retain his position if possible at the heart of the defence.
The midfield was one of Middlesbrough’s strong points against the Blades and Paddy McNair in particular was outstanding. Why change what isn’t broken then? It means that the midfield should look very similar, with McNair and Jonny Howson playing more centrally and then Marcus Tavernier (who completed the most dribbles of anyone in that Sheffield United game) and Marc Bola on each wing.
Finishing up, Matt Crooks was a creative spark in midweek, setting up chance after chance and eventually bagging himself an assist. He too should remain in that attacking midfield-esque role.