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Stoke City v Middlesbrough: The fan view from the Riverside…



Middlesbrough take on Stoke City this weekend as Tony Pulis faces his old side in the Sky Bet Championship.

Two teams that are aiming for promotion this season, it could be a closely-fought clash between the pair.

That in mind, then, we spoke to oneBoro blogger Matthew Strachan (@MattStrachan89) to talk all things Teesside…

Boro were booed at times against Derby – are fans getting a bit agitated right now after a top start to the season?

Well, I think the big game that has upset the natives was the 0-0 with Rotherham, where we could’ve won but also perhaps conceded a sucker punch goal. Bar Bogle’s own goal at the weekend, Boro have had three scoreless outings against Swansea, Forest, and Rotherham.

I think the fans would like to see a bit more urgency from the team and maybe fresh legs, after their cup performances a lot of Boro fans are surprised that Tavernier and Wing can’t get a look into a team looking bereft of creativity.

Stoke seem to have found a bit of form, who do you see being their main threats in this game?

Afobe is always a handful along with Tom Ince, Stoke City have an abundance of quality through the squad and it’s remarkable to see them in mid-table, especially when you can see the likes of Joe Allen, Charlie Adam in there, and even Crouch as an option off the bench.

I think keeping Afobe and Ince quiet is a must.

And, on a wider note, where will this be won or lost?

Again, I don’t think this will be a very open game, could just come down to a set piece or a mistake.

From the Palace game has anyone made a claim to feature this weekend?

Lewis Wing and Marcus Tavernier as I mentioned before. In the summer we lost Adama and then to add insult to injury lost out on both Bolasie and Adomah, so for much of the season we’ve had to play a wing back formation.

Tavernier is a winger and could give Tony Pulis the option to play more on the front with his speed and trickery, whereas Lewis Wing can count himself very unlucky to be dropped in the first place. Before we signed the likes of Besic and Saville, Wing had been brilliant pre-season and had carried on his form into the Championship before being inexplicably dropped.

Score prediction

Stoke have been pretty inconsistent (a little bit like us last season after the drop from the Premier League), I’m going for 1-1.

Editor and writer usually found at a game in London.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Stoke City v Middlesbrough: The fan view from the Riverside…

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