Middlesbrough v West Bromwich Albion
Skybet Championship . Kick-Off: Friday August 24th, 19-45 pm. Live on Sky Sports
MIDDLESBROUGH sit 2nd on goal difference in the table behind Leeds and entertain West Brom at the Riverside. West Brom currently sit in 7th place three points adrift. It is also a meeting of the apprentice taking on the teacher as Darren Moore was Tony Pullis's assistant before he was shown the door at the Hawthorns.
The Boro have won the last 3 league games scoring six goals and keeping three clean sheets while the Baggies demolished QPR 7-1 last Saturday and have scored 13 goals to be the highest scorers in the division. The Boro have conceded the least with two and its an intriguing contest of best defence against best attack.
Team News from the Boro is that Harrison Chapman (shoulder) and Rudi Gestede (ankle) will not play while Summer loan signing Jordan Hugill played 45 mins and scored in a behind close door friendly against Hartlepool in midweek and could be on the bench.
Paddy McNair could also be on the bench as well. For the Baggies Chadli(muscle injury) and Dawson (thigh) will be missing and after last weeks win I expect a unchanged side.
This will definitely be the Boro's biggest test as they try to extend their clean sheets having gone 313 minutes of Championship football with conceding a goal.
Players to watch are in the striking department with Jay Rodriguez with four this season and Matt Phillips who has three , are both in form having both scored twice against QPR last weekend. For the Boro Martin Braithwaite has scored in three of the four games this season and with his future still uncertain after a loan spell with Bordeaux last year it will be interesting to see if he's still at the Riverside when the loan window closes. At the moment can they afford to lose him.
Tony Pullis has a good record against his former teams having won 8 from 12 with 2 draws however the Baggies are unbeaten on Teeside since 2004/2005 season. In the last six head to heads both teams have not scored in five of them.