Despite several inches of snow covering Teesside over the last 72 hours, today’s crucial game at The Riverside Stadium is set to go ahead.
After picking up an injury last week against Hull City, it was confirmed this week that Benin international Rush Gestede will moss the rest of the season with a fractured ankle.
The striker missed Boro’s game against Sunderland on Saturday as he travelled down to London to have an operation on his ankle.
Middlesbrough will welcome Adama Traore back to the starting lineup, after he had his red card rescinded this week.
The Spanish winger was shown a straight red in Boro’s 3-3 draw against Sunderland on Saturday for violent conduct but after an successful appeal to the FA, Middlesbrough will be with Traore for today’s crunch match.
Boro captain Leadbitter remains a doubt for today’s game, after he picked up a knock in training during the week.
Other than that Tony Pulis side have no fresh injury concerns.
Leeds expect to have former Boro midfielder Adam Forshaw back in the squad, after he missed Leeds United’s last game against Brentford as his wife was in labour.
Forshaw, who joined Leeds for £4m in January, played 79 games in all competitions for the Teessiders and scoring two goals is expected to get a warm reception from the home crowd.
Pablo Hernandez and Kemal Roofe are both doubts ahead of this game and will face late fitness tests to deem if they are fit enough to play the game today.
The away side are currently on an three game unbeaten run and won their first game under new manager Paul Heckingbottom last time out when they beat Brentford 1-0.
Middlesbrough last time out however drew 3-3 with Sunderland in the Wear-Tees derby.
A last minute equaliser from Callum McManaman stopped Boro from taking all three points against the Black Cats, but most importantly stopped Middlesbrough from moving into the play-offs for the first time since November.
- Leeds have only lost one of their last seven league encounters with Boro (W4 D2), but that defeat was in their last league trip to the Riverside in September 2015.
Pierre-Michel Lasogga has scored 10 goals and assisted three in 17 starts in the Championship for Leeds United this season, whereas Boro striker Britt Assombalonga has scored 12 games and yet to register an assist.
The key battle will be between who can fire their team ahead first.
Last time out Leeds beat Boro 2-1 at Elland Road and I think today the two sides will be just as close.
Middlesbrough have found their shooting boots in recent weeks scoring six goals in their last two games, but have also conceded four goals in that time and I think they’ll concede again today.
Leeds in recent weeks have also been like Boro in the sense they can score but not keep them out so for that reason I can see today’s game being a high scoring one.
Prediction: Middlesbrough 2-2 Leeds
Result: Middlesbrough 3-0 Leeds
Thanks for reading,
By Jake Self