After five games without a win in the league, Middlesbrough finally picked up a win at the weekend when they beat Reading 2-0. It was by no means a perfect display. But Middlesbrough will be hoping to build on their win at Reading when they travel to Hull City on Tuesday. Hull have struggled more so than Boro since being relegated last season. They find themselves 17th in the league. And they have just lost their last game 3-2 to Nottingham Forest.
A win for Boro is much needed and could take them as high as 5th in the Championship. Here is how they might line up.
Middlesbrough did start out with a 4-2-3-1 at Reading. However, it did look to devolve into a sort of 4-4-1-1. This seemed to work a bit better for Boro and because they won and kept a clean sheet, Monk is likely to stick with a similar system on Tuesday.
GK: Darren Randolph
Randolph was solid again for Boro on Saturday. He was crucial in helping Boro keep their sixth clean sheet in the Championship. He has been a rock between the sticks for much of the season and is likely to start again on Tuesday.
RB: Cyrus Christie
Christie put another solid display in against Reading. He linked up well with Downing and provides a good attacking threat. He will start vs Reading.
RCB: Daniel Ayala
Ayala hasn’t been great this season for Middlesbrough. But after Monk has selected him for several games in a row Ayala has been steadily improving. Hopefully, he and Gibson can reform their solid partnership that saw Boro promoted in 2016.
LCB: Ben Gibson
Ben Gibson has started every league game for Boro this season and has just signed a new five-year contract. He to looked much improved on Saturday and Monk will want to keep the same centre-back pairing that kept Reading quiet.
Fabio played in a slightly deeper role on Saturday. However, he was still solid and given how poor Friend has been when he has played this season, Fabio is very likely to start again vs Hull.
RM: Stewart Downing
Downing’s performances have much improved in recent games and given how unreliable Adama Traore can be, Monk is likely to stick with Downing on Tuesday.
CM: Grant Leadbitter
Leadbitter had a very solid game against Reading. He led the line well and put away his penalty very calmly. He and Howson worked well and given Monk’s apparent disdain for Adam Clayton, he is likely to keep the same CM pairing he started with against Reading.
CM: Jonny Howson
Despite putting in some awful displays in recent weeks, Monk has continued to stick with Howson. Luckily for Monk, his patience was finally rewarded on Saturday. Howson was probably Boro’s best midfielder on the day. He also set up Boro’s second goal.
LM: Marvin Johnson
Monk did start Tavernier at Reading after several solid cup displays. However, he didn’t do that much at Reading. And Monk is likely to put the more experienced Johnson in for what is a crucial game at Hull.
CF: Martin Braithwaite
Braithwaite normally plays at striker or left wing. However, during the Reading game, he did start to drop behind Assombalonga. This seemingly worked as Boro won 2-0. Therefore, he will probably take up a similar position vs Hull.
ST: Britt Assombalonga
Both Assombalonga and Boro have come under some criticism this season for not performing to their best. Even so, Assombalonga has still managed to bag seven goals in the league for Boro this season. This is very impressive considering how bad Boro have played. It also makes Britt the joint second top goal scorer in the league. Middlesbrough fans will be hoping he can bag another at Hull.
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