Blackpool goes head to head against promotion candidates Middlesbrough at Bloomfield Road in the Championship. The home side will be ensuring their safety in the 2nd tier while the away side will look to cement their place in the Knock-Offs.
These two teams met back in September when Blackpool came out 1-2 winners at the Riverside Stadium. Grant Hall’s 78th-minute own-goal proved to be the winner for the away side.
Blackpool is having a somewhat turbulent season as they ended their seven-game winless streak with a win against Peterborough, just to lose the next game against Huddersfield. They have been unable to achieve any form of consistency so far.
The Seasider’s recent loss against Huddersfield will keep them 13th on the table with 30 points to their name. Neil Critchley will be looking to bounce back from their defeat right away with a win against Middlesbrough.
The home side has only won two of their last ten games. Drawing three and losing five in the process. But despite their slump in form recently, they are closer to the knock-off position than the relegation.
Blackpool Sky Bet Championship form: L L L W L
The away team Middlesbrough, are on the top as they are unbeaten in the last five games, winning four and drawing one. They are well and truly in the race for a Premier League promotion and currently occupy 5th place on the table with 36 points.
Middlesbrough’s upsurge in form has been tremendous. After game week 19, they were 15th on the table and staring down the barrel of a relegation scrap. Since then, they have moved up 10 places to enter the promotion race.
Chris Wilder’s appointment early in November has been integral in their turnaround. Nevertheless, the Boro fans will be cautious in their optimism and hope this is not just a honeymoon period.
Middlesbrough Sky Bet Championship form: W W D W W
Blackpool vs Middlesbrough: Team news
Neil Critchley will have to find a replacement for Jordan Gabriel who was sent off in their last game against Huddersfield, Dujon Sterling being the likely candidate.
The home side will also remain without Reece James and Ryan Wintle who are recently diagnosed with the coronavirus.
Oliver Casey, Luke Garbutt, Kevin Stewart, Grant Ward, and Matty Virtue are all unavailable due to injury.
Possible Blackpool starting line-up
Grimshaw; Dujon Sterling, Marvin Ekpiteta, Daniel Gretarsson, James Husband; Josh Bowler, Kenneth Dougall, Sonny Carey, Keshi Anderson; Gary Madine, Jerry Yates
Boro manager Chris Wilder is unlikely to make any changes to the winning formula. He might make one change to bring Duncan Watmore back into the starting line-up in place of Onel Hernandez for more attacking threats.
Marc Bola and Marcus Browne will remain sidelined due to injuries.
Possible Middlesbrough starting line-up
Joe Lumley; Patrick McNair, Dael Fry, Anfernee Dijksteel; Neil Taylor, Matt Crooks, Marcus Tavernier, Jonny Howson, Isaiah Jones; Duncan Watmore, Andraz Sporar
Blackpool 1-2 Middlesbrough
As both teams gear up for their last game of this year, both will be desperate to win all 3 points. Despite their contrasting forms, we believe this game will be a close one. With the away side snatching a narrow win.
Chris Wilder will not want to give up the opportunity to pile on the pressure on an inconsistent top 2.
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