West Bromwich Albion continue their promotion chase as they welcome Middlesbrough to The Hawthorns in this weekend’s stand-out tie.
Victory will see West Brom stay third and potentially move to within three points of league leaders, Bournemouth, if the Cherries and Fulham both slip up elsewhere.
Boro meanwhile could move back into the top ten with a win.
Kean Bryan is ruled out for West Brom after suffering a knee injury in Wednesday’s win over Hull.
Alex Mowatt and Dara O’Shea remain absent with ankle injuries.
Middlesbrough will be without Matt Crooks after the midfielder picked up his fifth yellow card of the season in Tuesday’s defeat at Luton.
Martin Payero (knock) and Grant Hall (groin) are doubts but Uche Ikpeazu (leg), Dael Fry (groin), Marcus Browne (knee) and Marc Bola (unspecified) remain absent.
- West Brom have won just one of their last six meetings against Middlesbrough (W1, D2, L3).
- Middlesbrough are unbeaten in their last three trips to The Hawthorns (W2, D1).
- West Brom’s Jake Livermore and Boro’s Jonny Howson were both booked in both meetings during 2019-20 season, with all four bookings in total between the pair happening after half-time.
- Karlan Grant has netted five goals in West Brom’s last four home matches (W4), with all five goals occurring in the second half.
- Boro have had a player booked in the first half of all nine matches in all competitions this season.
West Brom might be struggling away from home yet they’re in fine form at home this season with no losses at The Hawthorns, although they weren’t at their best in midweek against Hull with numerous wasted chances despite dominating so I feel that Valerien Ismael will rightly want a reaction here.
Boro meanwhile aren’t exactly in fine form themselves but did play well in the first half at Luton, yet a loss of focus midway through the second half proved costly with three conceded goals in five minutes but they recovered to finish well on the front foot.
On that note, this will be an interesting match because both teams need to produce reactions and Middlesbrough have good form in recent visits to West Brom, yet the Teessiders have plenty of injury issues which could hand the initiative to West Brom who should take it easily.
Prediction: WBA 2-1 Middlesbrough
Result: WBA 1-1 Middlesbrough