Aug 23, 2014 at 3pm UK at ​Riverside Stadium
Middlesbrough
2-3
Sheff WedsSheffield Wednesday
Leadbitter (72' pen., 91' pen.)
Leadbitter (41'), Abella (45'), Ayala (86')
FT(HT: 0-2)
Nuhiu (6', 57'), May (42')
Maguire (36'), Semedo (81'), Loovens (91')

Preview: Middlesbrough vs. Sheffield Wednesday

Sports Mole looks ahead to Saturday's Championship clash between Middlesbrough and Sheffield Wednesday as both sides look to build on strong starts to the season.

Sheffield Wednesday will be looking to continue their good start to the Championship season when they travel to the Riverside to face Middlesbrough this Saturday.

The Owls remain unbeaten in their four outings in all competitions this season, while the first goal they conceded came deep into second-half stoppage time against Millwall on Tuesday.

That strike rescued a draw for the Lions and, although it was enough for Wednesday to remain unbeaten, manager Stuart Gray admitted that the result felt like a defeat.

Even so, Wednesday have negotiated a tricky start to the season well, picking up five points from matches against promotion contenders Brighton & Hove Albion and Derby County in addition to that clash with in-form Millwall.

It was the first half of the season that let the Owls down in the previous campaign, so Gray will be hoping to continue the strong start in order to push for a top-half finish in his first full season in charge of the club.

Goals have been hard to come by in the opening three games, with Wednesday scoring just twice, but they look to be stronger defensively this time around as well.

Gray will be hoping that the goals arrive once new signing Stevie May gets settled in, and the striker is expected to start for the third game in a row this weekend.

Middlesbrough have also made a good start to their season and will fancy their chances of picking up a third win of the campaign at the Riverside on Saturday.

Birmingham City and Bolton Wanderers have already been dispatched by Aitor Karanka's side, who were also unfortunate to lose against Leeds United last weekend having seen a perfectly good goal disallowed.

Despite that disappointment, Karanka would have been pleased with how his side responded to losing so late, going on to come from behind and beat Bolton on Tuesday.

The Spanish manager will also be delighted with how quickly new signing Kike has adapted to English football, with the summer addition having scored in three of his four outings for the club so far.

If he can keep that form up for most of the campaign then Boro will have a chance to push for the playoffs, but matches like Saturday's at home to Wednesday are the type that they need to win to make that a reality.

Sebastian Hines started Tuesday's match against Bolton but could be relegated back to the bench having given away a penalty, with Daniel Ayala coming in.

Recent form

Middlesbrough: WWLW

Sheff Weds: WWDD

Possible starting lineups

Middlesbrough: Tomas; Damia, Omeruo, Ayala, Friend; Nsue, Leadbitter, Clayton, Adomah; Tomlin, Kike

Sheff Weds: Westwood; Palmer, Lees, Loovens, Mattock; Maguire, Semedo, Hutchinson, Maghoma; May, Nuhiu

Sports Mole says: 2-0

Who will win Saturday's match between Middlesbrough and Sheffield Wednesday?

Middlesbrough
Sheffield Wednesday
Draw
Middlesbrough
57.6%
Sheffield Wednesday
36.4%
Draw
6.1%
Adam Clayton of Huddersfield Town in action during the Budweiser FA Cup Fourth Round match against Charlton Athletic on February 1, 2014
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>
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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Wolverhampton WanderersWolves27195350203062
2Derby CountyDerby27157544232152
3Cardiff CityCardiff27155740251550
4Aston Villa27138639241547
5Bristol City2813874033747
6Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd27134104031943
7Leeds UnitedLeeds27134103729843
8Fulham2711974034642
9Middlesbrough27125103527841
10Preston North EndPreston27101163127441
11Brentford27101074135640
12Norwich CityNorwich28117102831-340
13Ipswich TownIpswich27123124039139
14Queens Park RangersQPR2789103137-633
15Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest27102153343-1032
16Millwall27710102930-131
17Sheffield WednesdaySheff Weds27710103034-431
18Reading2778123035-529
19Barnsley2769122737-1027
20Hull City27510123944-525
21Bolton WanderersBolton2767142545-2025
22Burton Albion2766152146-2524
23Birmingham CityBirmingham2765161538-2323
24Sunderland27410132947-1822
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