• Ben Watts

Middlesbrough v Peterborough United: The Breakdown build-up

Middlesbrough return to Championship action on Saturday afternoon as they host Peterborough United at the Riverside Stadium.

It’s been a tough start to the season for Neil Warnock’s side with the high of the 2-0 victory over Sheffield United being swiftly forgotten as the Teessiders fell to a 2-0 defeat a matter of days later against Hull City.

With Boro languishing in the bottom half of the table with just 12 points, Saturday’s opponents offer a genuine opportunity to kickstart the campaign.

The Posh have struggled to adapt to life in the second tier and with the worst defensive record in the league it means that Warnock’s men have a genuine opportunity to inject some confidence into the playing squad, but more importantly, the fanbase.

Here’s everything that you need to know ahead of the clash at the Riverside.

Previous results

Middlesbrough (Last six: LWLLWL)

Hull City 2-0 Middlesbrough, Middlesbrough 2-0 Sheffield United, Reading 1-0 Middlesbrough, Middlesbrough 1-2 Blackpool, Nottingham Forest 0-2 Middlesbrough, Coventry City 2-0 Middlesbrough

Peterborough United (Last six: LDLWLL)

Peterborough 2-3 Bristol City, Peterborough 0-0 Bournemouth, Coventry 3-0 Peterborough, Peterborough 3-0 Birmingham City, Reading 3-1 Peterborough, Sheffield United 6-2 Peterborough.

League standing

Middlesbrough: 15th, won 3, drawn 3, lost 5, goals scored 11, goals conceded 13, points 12.

Peterborough: 23rd, won 2, drawn 2, lost 7, goals scored 12, goals conceded 23, points 8.

Head-to-head record

Middlesbrough 5-0 Peterborough - January 5, 2019

Middlesbrough 0-0 Peterborough - April 2, 2013

Peterborough 2-3 Middlesbrough - December 8, 2012

Middlesbrough 1-1 Peterborough - December 31, 2011

Peterborough 1-1 Middlesbrough - November 26, 2011

Peterborough 0-2 Middlesbrough - August 24, 2011

Team News

Middlesbrough’s injury problems are worsening by the week with the news that Neil Warnock’s defence has been ‘decimated’.

Along with the injuries already suffered by Anfernee Dijksteel and Darnell Fisher, Dael Fry is also ruled out with a groin injury while Marc Bola will also miss out after hobbling off against Hull City.

With Lee Peltier suspended it means that Sol Bamba is the only fit defender available for the Teessiders.

Sammy Ameobi and Marcus Browne remain sidelined but Onel Hernandez and Martin Payero are both expected to be fit.

Peterborough will be boosted by the return of captain Mark Beevers following a hamstring injury.

Ricky-Jade Jones, Jack Marriott and Joel Randall all miss out through injury, while the club’s star striker Jonson Clarke-Harris misses out through suspension.

There’s also an off-field blow with manager Darren Ferguson set to watch the match from the stands as he faces a one-match touchline ban.

Manager verdict

Asked who will start amid the ongoing injury crisis, Middlesbrough boss Neil Warnock said "You’ll have to wait and see, won’t you.

“That’s what I get paid for.

“But whatever team goes out we’ve got to try and enjoy it and we’re going to have to ask the crowd to lift us.

“Lord knows how we’ll get Sol through three games in a week. I said that to him the other day. We might have go with just him in defence by himself!

“Certainly, we’ll have to treat him with some tender loving care this next week.”

Peterborough boss Darren Ferguson said: “It is an important week, there is no getting away from that, we have two away games and a home fixture within the week and we have to pick up points.

“Neil Warnock is a very experienced manager, he has a wonderful enthusiasm for the game, I think I have only come up against him once or twice, but you can see the passion he has for the game.

“His side will be organised and we know that we have to perform.”

Predicted line-ups

Middlesbrough: Joe Lumley, Jonny Howson, Paddy McNair, Sol Bamba, Marcus Tavernier, Matt Crooks, James Lea-Siliki, Martin Payero, Isaiah Jones, Duncan Watmore, Uche Ikpeazu.

Peterborough: Dai Cornell, Frankie Kent, Ronnie Edwards, Mark Beevers, Nathan Thompson, Dan Butler, Oliver Norburn, Jack Taylor, Jorge Grant, Sammie Szmodics, Siriki Dembele

Score Prediction

While Middlesbrough are in poor form, a match against Peterborough is a real opportunity to pick up three points.

Peterborough will be without Jonson Clarke-Harris but I still expect Neil Warnock’s makeshift defence to struggle given the lack of natural options at the back.

That said, Midddlesbrough do have quality in midfield and attack and so I’d be surprised if we didn’t find the back of the net.

Prediction: Middlesbrough 2-1 Peterborough United

Be sure to tune in to the latest Boro Breakdown podcast for all your matchday chatter in a pod, which you can find here.

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