Tony Pulis will be hoping to claim another former club scalp in three days as he takes Middlesbrough to Stoke City for a pivotal Championship clash. 

Boro enter this match off the back of clinching a cupset over Crystal Palace in midweek, and depending on earlier results for Sheffield United and Norwich, victory could send them top. 

 

Team news

Stoke City boss, Gary Rowett has a tough choice to make as Tom Edwards and Cuco Martina vie for a starting spot at Right Back. 

Edwards impressed after filling in for an unfit Martina last time out at Bristol City but the Curacao international is ready to return. 

Peter Etebo could feature after returning to training but Mame Diouf and Sam Clucas might miss out if it is felt that this fixture is too soon for them. 

Middlesbrough will again be without Ryan Shotton as the defender continues to recover from a knee injury. 

Loan signing, Sam McQueen is also ruled out after being stretchered off against Crystal Palace in midweek with cruciate ligament damage. 

Daniel Ayala will also be absent as he serves an one match ban following his fifth booking against Derby County last weekend. 

 

Form

Stoke are starting to see an upturn in fortunes with 10 points from their last five matches propelling them up the league table. 

They however have won just one of their last three home matches with four of five goals across those games coming in second half. 

Since returning from the international break, Middlesbrough scored in three of their four games across all competitions but have won and drawn two apiece, with both draws coming in their last two league games which were at home. 

On the road, Boro have lost just one of their seven away league games this season but have kept only three clean sheets across those matches.

They however have scored twice in each of their last two away games at Sheffield Wednesday and Ipswich, taking the three points on both occasions.  

 

Stat Attack

  • Stoke are unbeaten in their last three against Middlesbrough with all three meetings coming in Premier League (W2, D1)
  • Stoke have won three of their last five home games against Boro, keeping clean sheets in their last two (W3, D1, L1). 
  • Three of four goals in last two meetings came before half time.
  • Since leaving Stoke City for a second time in 2013, Tony Pulis is yet to lose against his former side in seven outings (W5, D2), winning in his only meeting as Crystal Palace manager before going unbeaten in six with four wins and two draws against the Potters during his time at West Bromwich Albion between 2015 and November 2017. 
  • Middlesbrough have conceded just eight times in the opening 15 games, which is less than what everyone else has managed. 

 

Prediction

Stoke are currently starting to find their best form after a rough year but Middlesbrough are a solid side defensively and are difficult to beat away from The Riverside Stadium. 

I am therefore going for an away win. 

Prediction: Stoke City 1-2 Middlesbrough

Result: Stoke City 0-0 Middlesbrough

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