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Mar 7, 2020 at 3pm UK at The Valley
Attendance: 18,080
CharltonCharlton Athletic
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Preview: Charlton Athletic vs. Middlesbrough - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Championship clash between Charlton Athletic and Middlesbrough, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Charlton Athletic will welcome Middlesbrough to The Valley for Saturday's Championship clash, in a battle between two sides embroiled in a relegation dogfight.

Only one point separates the relegation rivals going into the match, and both teams will be eager to steer clear of the drop zone as the season draws to a close.

Match preview

Charlton boss Lee Bowyer on February 8, 2020© Reuters

Charlton go into the tie with Middlesbrough on 39 points, 20th in the Championship table. The Addicks' 4-0 loss in last weekend's game against Huddersfield Town was a crushing blow for Lee Bowyer, who had just started to see his side's fortunes turn around in recent weeks.

Prior to their defeat against the Terriers, Charlton had enjoyed victories against fellow strugglers Barnsley and Luton Town, as well as an impressive 1-0 win away to promotion hopefuls Nottingham Forest.

Furthermore, Bowyer's side have only lost one of their last six home Championship fixtures, a run which they will no doubt be looking to build upon against a struggling Middlesbrough side.

Should Huddersfield, Hull City and Wigan Athletic all fail to pick up wins this weekend, a victory for Charlton would see them rise three places in the table into 17th.

Middlesbrough boss Jonathan Woodgate on March 2, 2020© Reuters

Meanwhile, Boro have suffered a dismal run of results since the New Year, and have now gone 12 games without a win in all competitions as they lie 22nd in the table.

Jonathan Woodgate's men looked to be on course to end their winless run over Forest on Monday, however fell victim to a late equaliser from Lewis Grabban in a 2-2 draw at the Riverside Stadium.

That result means Boro travel to The Valley in the relegation zone on 38 points, and they are one of only two sides to not reach 10 wins in the Championship this season, the other being Barnsley.

In addition, Woodgate's side have registered just 36 goals in 36 matches this term, the lowest in the league, and have only won away from home on two occasions.

The somewhat good news for Boro fans is that their side cannot drop any further down the table, and a victory could see them climb out of the drop zone into 19th should other results go their way.

George Saville's winner after only 50 seconds was enough for Middlesbrough to claim all three points in this fixture earlier in the campaign.

Charlton Athletic Championship form: LWLWLL

Middlesbrough Championship form: LDLLLD

Team News

Middlesbrough's Britt Assombalonga celebrates scoring their first goal on August 20, 2019© Reuters

Charlton will be without defender Tom Lockyer as he serves the second of his two-game ban for accumulating 10 yellow cards.

Fellow centre-back Naby Sarr is doubtful for the weekend's fixture, although veteran midfielder Darren Pratley is said to be making good progress and could potentially be involved on Saturday.

However, the 34-year-old will need to be wary of picking up a caution should he make the team. Pratley has chalked up nine yellow cards this season, and another booking would see him face a two-game suspension.

Middlesbrough forward Britt Assombalonga missed out against Forest due to illness, and Woodgate has conceded that the 27-year-old is a doubt for the weekend.

Meanwhile, Ashley Fletcher and George Friend are both recovering from hamstring injuries sustained in Boro's defeat to Leeds United last Wednesday.

Fletcher has a chance of being fit for Saturday, whereas Friend is said to be out for another two or three weeks.

Dael Fry, Patrick Roberts, Daniel Ayala and Anfernee Dijksteel all remain out.

Charlton Athletic possible starting lineup:
Phillips; Matthews, Pearce, Oshilaja, Doughty; Cullen, Ozturner, Pratley, Williams; Taylor, Green

Middlesbrough possible starting lineup:
Pears; Howson, Shotton, Moukoudi, Johnson; Saville, McNair; Tavernier, Wing, Coulson; Fletcher

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We say: Charlton Athletic 1-0 Middlesbrough

Both sides will be keen to pick up as many points as possible going into the business end of the season, however Boro's poor away form coupled with Charlton's recent signs of improvement means that we're going for a narrow home win.

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Middlesbrough boss Jonathan Woodgate on March 2, 2020
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