Another thrilling season of football has come to an end in the Sky Bet Championship with 2 teams now automatically promoted; Wolves and Cardiff City. This has placed the other 4 teams on the playoffs list with Fulham, Derby County, Aston Villa and Middlesbrough now set to fight it out for a spot in the playoffs final.
The first leg of the match between Middlesbrough and Aston Villa is set to be held at the Riverside Stadium on the 12th of May with the second leg scheduled for the 15th. The playoffs have always been an exciting affair with one winner getting the promotion out of 4 participating teams.
Villa finished 4th in the table while Boro managed a 5th place finish. They will now have 180 minutes of intense football awaiting them to decide who will go to the finals of the playoffs.
They have no injury worries to deal with for the first leg of the big tie. As for suspensions, Boro have no worries to deal with.
There are a few short-term injury worries for Villa to ponder upon. Andre Green, Chris Samba and Henri Lansbury are all out with hamstring injuries. Albert Adomah is suffering from a hip problem while Jordan Lyden is another doubt with an ankle injury. Jonathan Kodjia will be an absentee with an ankle injury. Another absentee who will be missing is John Terry as he has not recovered yet from his broken toe.
Darren Randolph, George Friend, Ben Gibson, Daniel Ayala, Ryan Shotton, Muhamed Besic, Adam Clayton, Jonny Howson, Stewart Downing, Britt Assombalonga, Adama Traore.
Sam Johnstone, Neil Taylor, James Chester, Mile Jedinak, Ahmed El Mohamady, Glenn Whelan, Albert Adomah, Jack Grealish, Conor Hourihane, Robert Snodgrass, Lewis Grabban.
The goal scoring threat for Middlesbrough might need some good wing play from Downing and Traore while Patrick Bamford, who might come off the bench, could prove crucial to proceedings.
Jack Grealish will have to be instrumental in his team’s build-up play while Sam Johnstone will need to have a good day between the sticks to come away with a crucial clean sheet.
Sky Bet has placed 5/4 odds on the home team to win the match.
Sky Bet has placed 23/10 on the away team to come away with a win.
There is also 21/10 odds on a draw for the first leg of the match.