On Wednesday 6th April 2022, sixth-placed Middlesbrough welcome league leaders Fulham to the Riverside Stadium in the EFL Championship. Back in August 2021, when these two teams met for the first time this season, the match ended in a 1-1 draw at Craven Cottage. In that game, Harry Wilson and Marc Bola scored for Fulham and Middlesbrough, respectively. Coming into this game, Middlesbrough dismantled Peterborough United 4-0, and Fulham comfortably dispatched QPR 2-0.
Middlesbrough are coming off a 4-0 away win at Peterborough United, where Marcus Tavernier, Folarin Balogun, Josh Coburn, and Duncan Watmore each scored once. This win gives Middlesbrough a record of 18 wins, eight draws, and 12 losses. Despite this win, Middlesbrough are underperforming slightly in defence as xGA predicted Boro to ship 37 goals, but they have let in 40.
Seen above is Middlesbrough’s shot map from open play this season. They have missed a few big chances this season, but from inside the opposition’s six-yard box, they have scored much more than they have missed. Some attempts were saved by the opponents’ keepers from close range. A few Middlesbrough players have underperformed on their xG and others have overperformed on their xG.
Marcus Tavernier is Boro’s most successful threat creator from set-pieces this season, particularly through his corners, and Paddy McNair is the team’s most successful threat creator from open play. Matt Crooks is Middlesbrough’s leading assist maker this season.
Fulham come into this game after defeating QPR 2-0. Both the goals were scored by Aleksandar Mitrovic, thus extending his record and his lead over the rest of the pack. Now, Fulham have 24 wins, eight draws, and six losses to their name. They have scored the most goals of any team this season, 92, and Fulham are overperforming on their xG of 82.
The above chart displays the dominance of Fulham in this season of the EFL Championship. They rank number one in a whopping 15 categories, including goals per 90, xG per 90, assists per 90, xA per 90, and key passes per 90, to name a few. They are rather weak in only two categories: long ball accuracy and aerial duels per 90.
This clash between sixth-placed Middlesbrough and leaders Fulham is the match of the midweek. Boro, after their win at Peterborough, broke into the top six and have two games in hand compared to the other teams in the play-off spots. They will hope to close the gap between these teams. On the other hand, Fulham will look to extend the gap between themselves and the rest of the top six with a win.