Predicted Middlesbrough Line-up To Face Barnsley In EFL Championship
Boro have not been in sparkling form in the league of late, with two draws and a home defeat to the resurgent Norwich City leaving the Teessiders down in 11th place, which is some way short of expectations to this point.
Garry Monk has belief in his squad however, and with Barnsley looking particularly weak, this is a great opportunity for Middlesbrough to make gains on the top six.
Manager: Garry Monk
GK – Darren Randolph
The Irish international is not the ‘keeper Monk wanted during the summer, but he remains in decent form and should start between the sticks.
RB – Cyrus Christie
Despite bringing in Andre Wisdom, the decision by Derby to sell Christie was met with dismay by many and his performances have backed up his reputation as arguably the best right-back in this division.
CB – Ryan Shotton
Having eventually gotten their man, Shotton has played just once in the league for Boro but has had time to bed in during the international break and should line up alongside Gibson.
CB – Ben Gibson
It was a huge transfer window coup for Boro to even keep hold of Gibson. His presence is absolutely necessary from now if they are to climb into the play-off places by the New Year.
LB – George Friend
The ex-Man United man Fabio played last time and while he still possesses some quality, he doesn’t quite deliver what Christie does on the other side. If Friend returns, he should give a better balance to the back line.
RM – Adama Traore
The former Barca man still hasn’t scored this season and flatters somewhat to deceive, though his lightening pace will surely lead to good things for Boro eventually and he may start again on the right.
CM – Jonny Howson
The former Norwich and Leeds man is one of those enigmas; never quite looking good enough for the Premier League while often looking too good for the Championship. He has quality, no doubt about it, and is a firm fixture now in the middle of the park.
CM – Adam Clayton
Very similar in quality to Howson and complementing him well, the pair may not produce goals but they remain solid in the middle. Clayton’s passing ability is good but the four in front of him really need to ensure they reach their full goal scoring potential.
LW – Marvin Johnson
The former Oxford man eventually got his move to the Championship and is proving his point. His presence on the left, and Traore’s on the right has given Boro a rather old fashioned look but one which may yet get them up.
SS – Martin Braithwaite
There’s an embarrassment of riches in forward positions for Boro, but the Dane may be called upon again here.
ST – Britt Assombalonga
Given the price tag, it would be unusual should he be dropped at this stage of the season despite the presence of Fletcher and others looking for game time.