Middlesbrough will look to bounce back from their 1-0 defeat at the hands of Cardiff City as they are due to host Hull City at the Riverside Stadium on Tuesday. The race for promotion is gearing up and the Riversiders have to fare in a much better manner to be in contention for a playoff place come the end of the season.
Tony Pulis’ side are currently placed at the 9th spot in the Championship table with 48 points to their name from 32 games. They are trailing 6th placed Bristol City by 5 points and thus, the upcoming fixture is a crucial one for them. With Fabio out injured, here is how we expect Middlesbrough to start against Hull City.
Darren Randolph has been quite decent between the sticks for Middlesbrough this season. The 30-year-old custodian has notched up 12 clean sheets from 32 appearances, making 2.09 saves per game on an average, and is likely to be handed yet another start with the gloves by Pulis.
Daniel Ayala and Ben Gibson have improved substantially under the tutelage of Pulis and have been able to strike up a commendable understanding. These two are anticipated to start at the heart of the backline of the Smoggies once again to showcase their resilience and solidity.
From the left-back position, we expect to see the tenacity and industry of George Friend once again. The manner in which he gallops forward to cater to the offensive responsibilities is exemplary to watch. Ryan Shotton’s versatility enables him to play anywhere at the back and Pulis might be inclined to use him once again from the right-back slot.
Grant Leadbitter is likely to be pencilled in the middle of the park as he has been an excellent defensive midfielder for Boro of late. Alongside him, we expect Muhamed Besic and Jonny Howson to be used and both of them would be craving to make their presence felt against the Tigers.
Finding the back of the net has emerged as one of the major issues for Middlesbrough and they need to address this problem before their chance drifts away. Britt Assombalonga should be making a return to the starting line-up despite having scored just 1 goal in his last 15 appearances.
Adama Traore is expected to take up his place on the right-wing to inject his attacking prowess in the final third. He has scored 3 goals and has registered 3 assists in 20 Championship games and would be keen to better his tally. Jack Harrison would be a good choice to fill the left-wing.