Preview: Stoke City vs. Middlesbrough – prediction, team news, lineups

By Darren Plant, Senior Reporter | February 29, 2024
Stoke City meet Middlesbrough on Saturday afternoon, having fallen into the Championship relegation zone.

At a time when the Potters are 22nd in the rankings, Middlesborough are 13th, with little to play for unless they go on a winning streak.
While Middlesbrough still has a game in hand on several of the teams above them, its promotion prospects are hanging by a thread following another setback.

Michael Carrick would have seen the home game against Plymouth Argyle as an opportunity for his club to jump back into contention, especially after upsetting leaders Leicester City.

Instead, Boro succumbed to a 2-0 scoreline against the Pilgrims at the Riverside Stadium, their eighth defeat in 17 league matches on home territory this season.
As a result, there is now an 11-point deficit to the playoffs and a nine-point advantage over the bottom three, leaving the Boro hierarchy with decisions to make over how they intend to progress forward.

On a positive note, Boro have been far more impressive on their travels, their recent success at the King Power Stadium making it 23 points from 16 away games in the second tier.

ᐉ Stoke City vs Middlesbrough Live Stream, Tip » How to watch - 2 Mar ✔️

From the perspective of Stoke City, they find themselves in a situation where relegation has become a real possibility, a consequence of six defeats being posted in seven games.

Head coach Steven Schumacher would have been confident of a revival on the back of overcoming Queens Park Rangers by a 1-0 scoreline on February 14.

However, the Potters have since suffered defeats against Coventry City and Cardiff City, pushing them into the bottom three.

Stoke now have only 19 points from their 17 home games, and they may use a sixth win at the bet365 Stadium to be within touching distance of getting out of trouble as soon as possible.
Jordan Thompson begins a two-game suspension for Stoke after receiving his tenth yellow card of the season, leaving Lynden Gooch in line to return at left-back.

Josh Laurent is expected to start over Luke Cundle in center midfield, and Tyrese Campbell or Andre Vidigal might potentially play in the final third.

In addition to defender Luke McNally’s absence due to injury, Ryan Mmaee is expected to remain unavailable for selection due to disciplinary issues.

Emmanuel Latte Lath might be put into the Middlesbrough XI after returning from injury last weekend.

Lukas Engel and Sam Greenwood may also be recalled at left-back and creative roles, respectively, with Dael Fry being the most likely of Boro’s eight injured players to return.

Stoke City’s likely starting lineup: Iversen; Tchamadeu, Wilmot, Rose, Gooch; Baker, Laurent, Burger; Campbell, Ennis, and Bae.

Middlesbrough’s likely starting lineup: Glover; Ayling, Van den Berg, McNair, Engel; O’Brien, Barlaser; Forss, Azaz, Greenwood; Latte Lath.

We predict: Stoke City 1-2 Middlesbrough.
Stoke’s plethora of quality may eventually return to form, and facing a squad like Boro provides a great opportunity. However, we believe Carrick’s erratic team will take advantage of playing under less pressure to win at the bet365 Stadium.



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