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Middlesbrough haven’t quite started this season the way many expected them to after having splashed the cash post their demotion from the Premier League, but you rather fancy they will take off at some point and have plenty of attacking prowess at their disposal.
Draws against Fulham, Brentford and Barnsley surrounded a defeat at home to Norwich, but their overall profile is still steady enough and I strongly fancy them to win this given that they will be fully motivated against the side sitting in second place.
Garry Monk probably needs a win this weekend and I fancy he can achieve it.
Given the state of play both here and at Newcastle, it may well be that Monk could return with a bid for Karl Darlow in January but for now, the Irish international remains the custodian.
The ex-Derby man has been well replaced in the Midlands by Andre Wisdom. However, he remains one of the best right-backs in this league.
A solid partner for the excellent Ben Gibson in central defence.
The England hopeful may yet seek a Premier League move in January in a bid to make the England World Cup squad, though I for one would take him to Russia anyway.
The former Manchester United man doesn’t pull up so many trees these days but retains plenty of ability.
Leadbitter was in the side last time, but I fancy the two Adams will be back together in the middle for this one. Jonny Howson may also push for a start in this position.
An excellent passer of the ball and like his midfield partner, gets on with his job with the minimum of fuss.
May be asked to start in place of Stewart Downing here, his youth offering perhaps a little more exuberance which is needed right now at the Boro.
He may not have hit the heights yet, but there’s plenty more to come from him in this position I feel.
I’m not sure this is quite his best position, but he has tons of potential and I wouldn’t back against him finding the net this time.
In a Championship version of the Lukaku argument, there’s a feeling Assombalonga only finds the net against the weaker teams so he has a little bit to prove against second-placed Cardiff.