Middlesbrough defeated Norwich 5-1 last Friday, scoring their second five goal haul of the year in the process, maintaining their dwindling chances of automatic promotion. Because of the outcome, no team has scored more goals than Boro have since Michael Carrick was hired in October. Their 60 goals are a league best going into the round eleven more than newly promoted Burnley.
Since Boro have won seven of their last nine games at the Riverside Stadium (W7, D1, L1), playing another game there under the lights on the banks of the River Tees can only be advantageous. Middlesbrough should be careful not to overlook Hull City, despite the fact that they have only won one of their last five head-to-head matches, a 3-1 triumph in the reverse match.
Hull hasn’t quite put on their holiday sandals yet, as evidenced by their last match when they held play-off-chasing Blackburn to a scoreless draw despite having safety ensured and no chance of promotion. In their last eight league games (W2, D5, L1), Liam Rosenior’s Tigers have only lost once, and that was against none other than the league’s clear cut leader, Burnley.
Hull’s strong run is also evident in their away performances, as they have drew four straight Championship away games for the first time in the current EFL era. Though all but one of the most recent nine head-to-head matches played on Teesside ended in a victory (HUL: W2, D1, L6), that streak may come to an end here.
The last time Boro played at the Riverside Stadium, Chuba Akpom scored his 22nd goal, tying Scott McDonald’s record and breaking the Championship’s record for consecutive home scoring appearances with eight! Over the previous eight rounds (G10), Hull only outscored Akpom by two goals, despite Regan Slater’s involvement in four of those goals (G2, A2).
Ramsey (ankle) and Forss (leg) were both forced off with injuries during Middlesbrough’s victory over Norwich on Friday; neither is anticipated to return to action before next month.
After suffering an ankle injury, Riley McGree is still around a month away from making his first-team comeback, which puts even more on on Archer and Akpom to score goals for Carrick’s club.
Center back The 26-year old Matthew Clarke has not played for Boro since October due to ongoing back problems and will miss Wednesday’s game against the Tigers.
Due to Oscar Estupinan’s ankle injury, Hull will be without its leading scorer at the Riverside. As a result, the visitors will once more be led by the attacking duo of Ozan Tufan and Adama Traore.
After joining on loan from Brighton & Hove Albion in January, Aaron Connolly showed a lot of potential, but the forward is now out for the rest of the season after breaking his toe in February.
Middlesbrough possible starting lineup
Steffen, Smith, McNair, Lenihan, Giles, Howson, Hackney, Jones, Akpom, Mowatt, and Archer.
Hull City possible starting lineup
Darlow, Coyle, McLoughlin, Greaves, Elder, Sayyadmanesh, Seri, Slater, Vaughan, Tufan and Traore.
We predict: Middlesbrough 1-0 City of Hull
After smashing Norwich the last time out, Middlesbrough still has a slight chance of finishing in the top two, and despite injuries, Carrick’s team will be confident of defeating Hull.
The Tigers performed admirably to tie Blackburn on Saturday at Ewood Park, but we don’t think they can win both of their away games.