The Build Up: Middlesbrough vs Huddersfield
It’s the battle of two out-of-form sides on Tuesday night as Middlesbrough welcome Huddersfield Town to the Riverside.
Boro have fell to defeat in each of their last four matches on home turf and will be looking to put that right as Carlos Corberán brings his Huddersfield side to the North East.
Boro put up a dismal showing at the hands of Derby in their last outing, with a first goal for on-loan winger Neeskans Kebano proving a mere consolation for Neil Warnock. The Teessiders haven’t been shown an inspiring performance for too long, so the Reds will be desperate of that to be put right.
George Saville has come under heavy criticism for his performance against Derby, but with little depth in his position, it is hard to imagine the trio of Jonny Howson, Sam Morsy and Saville won’t be opted for.
However, we saw a return to the action for defender Grant Hall at the weekend, and Warnock may be tempted to start Hall with Dijskteel being pushed further forward.
I may begin to sound like a broken record but once again Warnock has been left with a dilemma of which striker to opt for from the get-go. Assombalonga failed to leave a mark on the game against Derby, however the question remains of ‘does it matter who starts upfront?’.
The strikers continue to fend off scraps and with little service throughout, and with Warnock tending to rotate strikers after a poor performance, you wonder if he will start either Chuba Akpom or Ashley Fletcher.
Boro will once again be without winger Yannick Bolasie. After impressing against Brentford, Bolasie missed Saturday’s game after sustaining a hamstring injury during training.
Despite his return to training, Bolasie should miss the next few weeks, Warnock claims. Warnock will still be without Marcus Tavenier and Dael Fry for the match, with their returns edging nearer.
There aren’t many teams in worse form than Boro, but the Terriers are one of them. The West Yorskhire outfit have failed to win in any of their last six games, and have won just one of their last eight.
Carlos Corberán is experiencing his first taste of a managerial position in England, after leaving his role as Marcelo Bielsa’s first team coach at neighbours Leeds United. The Spaniard has endured a difficult start to life at Huddersfield, as they sit just five points above the drop zone.
The Huddersfield faithful haven’t been happy with their side of late, with some claiming they can’t remember such a divide between the club and the fans. Only Wycombe have a leakier defence than Huddersfield this season, conceding 42 this season. The two sides traded blows at the weekend, with The Terriers falling to defeat after taking up a 2-0 lead.
Despite a quick start for Boro, it was Huddersfield who were victorious in the last meeting between the two sides.
A couple of early missed chances would have given Boro a comfortable lead adding to a Marvin Johnson opener.
The Terriers clawed back however, and despite a late Britt Assombalonga penalty to level things up, Josh Koroma won the game for Corberán’s side with an instant reply.
Perhaps expectedly, Middlesbrough have proven to have the better of the two sides in previous encounters. The two clubs have never met in the top-flight, which is likely to remain the case for a while.