Middlesbrough host Southampton in what will be their penultimate Premier league game for at least a season.
A win for Middlesbrough will keep them 19th. On the other hand, a win for the Saints could move them up to 8th.
After being relegated last week at Chelsea, Middlesbrough are now playing for pride. Steve Agnew is also still in charge. So, with Steve Gibson yet to announce a permanent replacement for Karanka, Agnew will want to use these last two league games as an audition for the role.
After a woeful performance at Chelsea with Boro going down without a fight, the players will surely want to give the fans something to cheer and the game against Southampton is their perfect chance to do that. The Saints are also winless in five so a win for Boro is not out of the question.
Injury news: Valdes, Ayala and Ramirez are likely to all miss out.
Southampton are currently 10th in the table. After a 1-0 win against West Brom in early April they hit the magic 40 point mark but have dropped off since. They are also 16 points away from a European spot so have very little to play for.
Southampton’s highest Premier League finish is 6th which is also out of reach this season. However, their lowest Premier League finish was the 14th place which is still a possibility this season. Therefore, the Saints will be hoping to secure a win against Boro to make sure they do not repeat that this season.
Injury news: Van Dijk remains injured and will miss the clash.
Middlesbrough XI: Guzan, Fabio, Gibson, Espinosa, Friend, Traore, Clayton, De Roon, Downing, Negredo, Bamford.
Southampton XI: Foster, Soares, Stephens, Yoshida, Bertrand, Davis, Romeu, Ward-Prowse, Tadic, Redmond, Gabbiadini
Head to head
The two sides have met 56 times. Southampton have won 24, drawn 15 and Middlesbrough have won 17 times.
Last time out Southampton beat Middlesbrough 1-0 on December 11th, 2016.
Middlesbrough haven’t beaten Southampton since 2012. The reds won 2-1 in a Championship clash.
With Southampton safe from relegation and no chance of getting a European place, they will likely not be at the best. In the same vein, Boro are already down so will also be less inclined to try. Therefore, do not expect a classic. A more likely outcome will be a boring 90 minutes with neither side putting in 100%.
Final score prediction: 1-1
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