Blackpool welcome Middlesbrough to Bloomfield Road in a stand-out festive midweek tie from 2021-22 Sky Bet Championship.
Victory could lift Blackpool up to 11th depending on results elsewhere, whereas a win would see Middlesbrough stay fifth until at least Thursday evening when Huddersfield could overtake them on goal difference with a big win at Nottingham Forest.
Jordan Gabriel is suspended for Blackpool after being red carded in their Boxing Day defeat at Huddersfield.
Luke Garbutt (illness) is a doubt but Matty Virtue (knee), Grant Ward (Achilles), Reece James, Ryan Wintle (both Coronavirus), Oliver Casey (leg) and Kevin Stewart (hamstring) remain ruled out
Middlesbrough have no fresh injury concerns to report as Marc Bola and Marcus Browne (both knee) remain absent.
- Blackpool have won just one of their last six league meetings against Middlesbrough (W1, D
- Middlesbrough have won just two of their last five league visits to Blackpool (W2, L3).
- Blackpool have won both meetings against Boro in all competitions this season – winning 3-0 in First Round of Carabao Cup then 2-1 away to Boro in Championship (W2).
- 10 of Blackpool’s 25 league goals this season have been scored at home.
- Just one of Boro’s last four yellow cards in their last two away matches came before half-time, as Anfernee Dijksteel was booked in the tenth minute of their goalless draw at Stoke this month.
Despite winning just once in their last nine games, Blackpool haven’t played too badly during this rut especially in their Boxing Day defeat at Huddersfield where they looked strong on the attack, yet were again let down defensively in the closing stages.
Middlesbrough meanwhile were absolutely superb against Forest with a dominant pressing game and solid defending, which was complete with great creativity in attack yet they did lack the final touch on several occasions which could eventually prove costly.
Defending though is going to be crucial for both teams here as they chase a play-off spot and at the minute, Boro hold that momentum but I am expecting the Tangerines to make this a difficult contest given that they have already won this fixture twice this season.
Prediction: Blackpool 1-1 Middlesbrough
Result: Blackpool 1-2 Middlesbrough