MX23RW : Saturday, November 27 23:24:05| >> :600:99835:99835:
Oct 3, 2020 at 3pm UK at Riverside Stadium
MiddlesbroughMiddlesbrough
2-1
BarnsleyBarnsley
Howson (45+2'), Akpom (48')
Tavernier (9'), Morsy (27'), Howson (52'), McNair (61'), Saville (68'), Bettinelli (90+2')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Woodrow (89' pen.)
Styles (49'), Simoes (90+3')

Preview: Middlesbrough vs. Barnsley - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Championship clash between Middlesbrough and Barnsley, including team news and predicted lineups.

Middlesbrough will have head coach Neil Warnock back on the touchline for Saturday's Championship clash with Barnsley, and it will be a special occasion for the 71-year-old.

Warnock was forced to take control of the clashes with Bournemouth and Queens Park Rangers remotely after testing positive for coronavirus, but the head coach is back for what will be his 1,500th league game at the helm.


Match preview

Boro boss Neil Warnock on September 11, 2020© Reuters

Warnock underwent a two-week period of isolation after testing positive for coronavirus, meaning that he was absent from the touchline for the games with Bournemouth and Queens Park Rangers.

Boro are actually still waiting for their first league win of the campaign, losing at Watford on September 11 before back-to-back 1-1 draws with Bournemouth and QPR towards the end of last month.

It will actually be the second time that the club have faced Barnsley this season, having lost 2-0 to their Championship rivals when they locked horns in the EFL Cup on September 15.

There is no getting away from the fact that 2019-20 was a disappointing campaign for Boro as they finished down in 17th position, but Warnock will be looking for his side to push higher up the table this term.

Barnsley manager Gerhard Struber pictured in July 2020© Reuters

Barnsley might have beaten Boro in then EFL Cup in the middle of September, but they saw their journey in the cup competition end one week later, suffering a 6-0 defeat to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

Like their opponents this weekend, the Tykes are still waiting for their first league win of the season, picking up just one point from their three fixtures to sit 20th in the table.

Indeed, Gerhard Struber's side started their 2020-21 Championship campaign with back-to-back defeats to Luton Town and Reading before drawing 0-0 with Coventry City last weekend.

Barnsley only just survived in the second tier last term, ultimately finishing 21st, just a point ahead of 22nd-place Charlton Athletic, and it could well be another tough campaign for the club.

Middlesbrough Championship form: LDD
Middlesbrough form (all competitions): WLLDD

Barnsley Championship form: LLD
Barnsley form (all competitions): WLWLLD


Team News

Middlesbrough's Ashley Fletcher celebrates scoring against Reading on July 14, 2020© Reuters

Warnock revealed during Thursday's press conference that Ashley Fletcher could feature this weekend despite limping out of the clash with Bournemouth, but the experienced manager conceded that he could remain cautious when it comes to the attacker and instead select him after the international break.

Grant Hall is definitely out of the contest after picking up an injury against QPR last time out, meaning that Dael Fry is likely to earn a start at the back.

Chuba Akpom capped his Boro debut with a goal at Loftus Road, and the 24-year-old is expected to keep his spot alongside Britt Assombalonga in the final third of the field.

As for Barnsley, Bambo Diaby is suspended, but the visitors are otherwise in good shape when it comes to absentees for this weekend's contest.

Struber could therefore decide to select the same XI that started against Coventry, with Cauley Woodrow, Conor Chaplin and Luke Thomas featuring in attacking positions.

That said, Elliot Simoes and Patrick Schmidt are both pushing for starts, having featured off the bench in the team's goalless draw last time out.

Middlesbrough possible starting lineup:
Bettinelli, Dijksteel, Fry, McNair; Spence, Tavernier, Howson, Saville, Johnson; Assombalonga, Akpom

Barnsley possible starting lineup:
Walton; Sollbauer, Helik, Andersen; Williams, Mowatt, Styles, Ludewig; Chaplin, Thomas, Woodrow


SM words green background

We say: Middlesbrough 2-1 Barnsley

Boro will view this match as the perfect opportunity to put three points on the board, and we expect the home side to emerge victorious on Saturday. Warnock's return to the touchline should boost the team, and Boro will fancy their chances of triumphing at the Riverside Stadium.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home/Away:data

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Barnsley manager Gerhard Struber pictured in July 2020
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Fulham20134349163343
2Bournemouth20126236162042
3West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom2097427161134
4Blackburn RoversBlackburn209653427733
5Coventry CityCoventry209652723433
6Queens Park RangersQPR199553124732
7Stoke CityStoke209472421331
8Huddersfield TownHuddersfield208482323028
9Swansea CitySwansea207672526-127
10Millwall206952021-127
11Blackpool207672022-227
12Middlesbrough207582323026
13Birmingham CityBirmingham207581921-226
14Luton TownLuton206772726125
15Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest206772423125
16Preston North EndPreston206772226-425
17Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd196582326-323
18Bristol City196582128-723
19Hull City2063111623-721
20Cardiff CityCardiff2063112134-1321
21Reading2082102632-620
22Peterborough UnitedPeterborough2044121738-2116
23Barnsley2026121331-1812
24Derby CountyDerby1941051618-21

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