Another midweek round of Championship action sees the promotion battle intensify with Middlesbrough’s trip to Preston North End at Deepdale the stand-out tie.
Depending on how Norwich fare at Hull, Middlesbrough could go top but they face an in form Preston who are looking to move further away from relegation zone.
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Preston will be without top scorer, Callum Robinson for at least three months after the striker suffered a hamstring injury on Saturday.
Alan Brown and Ben Pearson could feature after recovering from niggles picked up at weekend.
Middlesbrough have a fully fit squad available with Ryan Shotton close to full fitness. He is however unlikely to be risked here.
Preston are currently on an eight match unbeaten run since start of October with only two clean sheets during that run.
They have also netted four goals in three of their last four home games with Tom Barkhuizen and Callum Robinson both scoring in all three of those four home matches to feature four goals.
Middlesbrough are unbeaten in their last six with three wins and draws apiece, including two 0-0 draws.
Away wise, Boro have scored twice in three of last four with only one clean sheet from those games.
- Preston have taken only four draws from last 12 meetings with Middlesbrough across all competitions, although September’s League Cup 2-2 draw counts as a loss after losing on penalties (D4, L8).
- Two of last four league meetings have finished 0-0 and both came in first league meeting of 2015-16 then 2017-18 seasons when both were in same division.
- There has already been two meetings between these teams in 2018 with nine goals scored, excluding penalty shootout.
- Jordan Hugill has scored three goals in his last two matches for Middlesbrough.
- Middlesbrough’s last four away trips have all been televised, making this the first time in five away matches that Boro aren’t on TV.
Callum Robinson’s loss will definitely affect Preston here against a Middlesbrough side who tend to come alive in second half.
If Preston can get the first goal then you have to fancy them to win it but for me, Boro will find a way through and win a edgy game.
Prediction: Preston North End 1-2 Middlesbrough
Result: Preston North End 1-1 Middlesbrough