Middlesbrough will be playing Sunderland in the Tees-Wear derby on Monday evening, and they will be going into the game seeking to get the win that they need to get their season going.
Boro is now in 20th place in the Championship rankings, while Sunderland is currently in the top 10, and Tony Mowbray is looking to capitalize on the great start he has had to his tenure as the head coach at the Stadium of Light.
Middlesbrough vs. Sunderland Match Preview
Before the start of the current campaign, it seemed a foregone conclusion that Middlesbrough would be a contender for promotion at the Riverside Stadium, where Chris Wilder had both the financial resources and the creative leeway to assemble his own team of players.
Despite this, he is conscious that in order to bring the club back into the mix at the top end of the league, he has to start putting regular wins on the board as soon as possible. These six points have come from seven games.
Boro has a window of opportunities to propel themselves up the division since none of the other teams in the division have established any consistency over the first weeks of the season. This is in keeping with the traditional manner of the Championship.
However, Wilder is aware that if his team suffers its fourth loss in the league this season in the derby, it would lead to more criticism of a group that has a high level of skill.
Even though enhancing their defensive play is the primary focus of this group of players’ efforts, none of them have scored more than twice so far this season.
Fans of the Black Cats probably weren’t expecting former Boro manager Tony Mowbray to be appointed as Alex Neil’s successor.
Some fans may have been convinced by his performance in the second half of the 3-0 victory against Rotherham United, which helped him win over the club’s faithful.
As a result of Mowbray’s decision to stick with Neil’s 3-4-1-2 system, Jack Clarke and Ross Stewart were given the opportunity to display their developing ability and confidence by combining for three goals.
With the latter’s present form, Sunderland will be a threat to win every game they play. He already has five goals and three assists.
Five straight defeats for Sunderland versus Boro, with the lone victory coming in the FA Cup in 2012.
Middlesbrough vs. Sunderland Team News
For Zack Steffen, Darragh Lenihan, and Jonny Howson to return to the Boro starting lineup, Wilder is counting on them all to fully recover from their injuries.
If they can’t play, Liam Roberts, Anfernee Dijksteel, and Dael Fry will likely step in, and Paddy McNair might go to the midfield.
Riley McGree may be demoted to the bench in favor of Marcus Forss, who may enter the starting lineup.
So long as there are no injury concerns, Mowbray is set to start with the same Sunderland XI that faced Rotherham.
Abdoullah Ba, Edouard Michut, and Amad Diallo are some of the recent additions who might be used as subs.
Middlesbrough Possible Starting Lineup: Roberts, Dijksteel, Fry, Clarke, Jones, Mowatt, McNair, Crooks, Giles, Forss, Muniz
Sunderland Possible Starting Lineup: Patterson, O’Nien, Batth, Cirkin, Gooch, Neil, Evans, Clarke, Pritchard, Stewart, Simms
Our Prediction: Middlesbrough 1-1 Sunderland
Mowbray will be making a return to his previous club in an effort to increase the pressure on Wilder, and the visitors have a good case to be considered the favorites. We expect a close tie, however, since a derby may bring out Boro’s best.
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