Middlesbrough lost their last game 1-0 to Fulham. They dominated much of the game and after missing several big chances and having a stone cold penalty waved away, the Teessider’s will feel aggrieved they came away with zero points vs Fulham.
They will be looking to avenge that loss this weekend when they take on QPR who are 13th. Middlesbrough are currently 9th in the Championship. But a win could see them move up to 6th. A loss could see them move as low as 12th.
Here is how they might line up.
4-2-3-1 has been Tony Pulis’s formation of choice since taking charge of Boro. So, he is likely to opt for it again vs QPR.
GK: Darren Randolph
Randolph had a solid game vs Fulham. He was unlucky in conceding the penalty. He will start vs QPR as he is Middlesbrough’s number one.
RB: Ryan Shotton
Shotton had another good game at right-back for Middlesbrough vs Fulham. This means Cyrus Christie looks to now be nothing more than a sub-meaning Shotton will start at QPR.
RCB: Daniel Ayala
Ayala is improving game by game this season as he looks to get back in top form. There was little he could have done about the Fulham goal as he did not give away the penalty. He will start vs QPR. Especially given Boro’s only other centre-back is Dael Fry who Pulis has yet to play.
LCB: Ben Gibson
Gibson has started every league game for Middlesbrough this season. Also, much like Ayala, unless Pulis gives Fry his first start under him, Gibson will partner Ayala in the centre of defence on Saturday.
LB: George Friend
Friend is still currently Middlesbrough’s only available left back. So, he will start this weekend.
CDM: Jonny Howson
Jonny Howson and Grant Leadbitter have started every game for Tony Pulis since he took charge. And given that Forshaw could be on his way out of Boro, it is likely Howson and Leadbitter who will start in CM again vs QPR.
CDM: Grant Leadbitter
Leadbitter cost Boro the Fulham game when he gave away a penalty in pretty much the last minute. He will be hoping to improve next time around vs QPR.
RM: Adama Traore
Traore was once again a hand full vs Fulham. He even caused the much-praised Sessegnon problems for much of the game. And when he was subbed off Boro looked deflated. He will start on Saturday.
CAM: Martin Braithwaite
Braithwaite had a decent game last time out for Boro. He also should have had the most obvious penalty given in his favour when Kalas took him down. Unfortunately for Boro, that decision was not given. But Braithwaite still did well vs Fulham and is likely to retain his spot vs QPR.
LM: Stewart Downing
Downing is now very much a regular in this Middlesbrough side this season despite nearly moving to Birmingham over the summer. Also, given that Marvin Johnson is Boro’s only other real left mid, Downing will start vs QPR as Johnson has been quite poor since his first few games for Middlesbrough.
ST: Britt Assombalonga
Tony Pulis has favoured Ruddy Gestede as Boro’s number nine since he took charge. However, after Gestede missed several key chances for Middlesbrough in their last game, it is likely Assombalonga, a much more clinical finisher will come in vs QPR.
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