Middlesbrough face Stoke City to build on their stellar midweek win against Swansea City.
But the Potters are also in good spirits after a win at Wycombe mid-week.
The sides are only separated by one point and two places before the game, with Stoke consecutive clean sheets.
Both teams struggled at the wrong end of the table for much of last season but eventually climbed to safety. This season they are challenging at the other end of the division and both have started promisingly.
The standout topic on team news is obviously the decision to skip Duncan Watmore after his midweek break.
But it’s been 14 months since Watmore last started two games in a row, so Warnock has no doubt thought about it.
And if the manager had switched to a four-goal and midfield triple from Howson, Morsy and Saville today as expected, Watmore would have had to play instead of Tavernier or Johnson, and we know the manager appreciates those two Go You both backwards and forwards.
Well when the team news hit mid-week, I didn’t have Marc Bola as a midfielder, so take that with a pinch of salt.
But this team looks a lot like 4-3-3 / 4-5-1 form, with Tavernier and Johnson helping Akpom.
Substitutes: Dejan Stojanovic, Nathan Wood, Hayden Coulson, Lewis Wing, Isaiah Jones, Sam Folarin, Patrick Roberts, Duncan Watmore, Britt Assombalonga
Will Duncan Watmore start for Boro for the first time in a row? He will certainly be in the XI after his midweek match winning ad.
Warnock may choose to refresh it, however. George Saville will be on his mind after the midfielder rested for the game in Swansea.
At the back, the game is likely to come too early for Anfernee Dijksteel, so Djed Spence will likely play on the right side again, be it as a right-back in a four or as a full-back.
Forty minutes until we can get stuck on some team news. And I have just the thing to pass the time. Something Warnock.
Every manager knows what to expect from a Neil Warnock team, but that doesn’t make it easier to prepare for or play against them.
“Middlesbrough has done very well. You have only conceded 10 goals and have conceded a lot of goals this season.
« I think they had a lot of 0-0 draws and tight 1-0 wins in the first part of the season so they are in a good position. « .
« We know what to expect when it comes to how they play. « . Neil did a very good job of coming into the club first like last year and keeping it going – and then tried to strengthen and develop, a bit like us and the situation we were in.
« You have had a good start to the season. They came here and won last year and will believe they can do it again. ”
If you haven’t seen it yet and are interested in top tier developments. . . . Sunderland has a new boss of its own.
Twelve months ago, Stoke was second and Boro only three places up after hiding well in Leeds.
Stoke had 14 points after 19 games and Boro was only three points better off.
This season Boro has 24 points and Stoke one point better after 15 games.
Michael O’Neill and Neil Warnock took the site to safety last season and then planned a promotion. Both have got off to a promising start and both start tonight’s game in a good mood after their midweek victories, Boro against Swansea and Stoke in Wycombe.
Thank you for joining us in covering another big game for Boro in the championship.
Last year these two sides battled at the bottom of the table. Things have changed. This season, both hope to be in the promotional mix by the end of the campaign, and they’re just one point and two places apart before today’s game.
Middlesbrough F. . C.. . , Neil Warnock, Stoke City F. . C.. . , EFL Championship, Duncan Watmore
World News – GB – Stoke City v Boro LIVE: game updates and analysis
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