Middlesbrough will host Barnsley at the Riverside Stadium in a matchday 13 EFL Championship fixture on Wednesday. Middlesbrough have struggled to be consistent so far this season. The last couple of performances have been encouraging for them and after beating Peterborough on Saturday the visit of Barnsley gives them a brilliant opportunity to record their first back to back wins of the season. Barnsley suffered a 1-0 defeat away to Reading as John Swift scored a 77th-minute winner for the Royals.
Middlesbrough have been most threatening when they break on the counter. As seen in the above visual we can see that Middlesbrough have attempted a high number of counter attacks and have an average of 2.72 counter attacks per game. They have players who are fast and can move from one end of the pitch to the other end quickly.
Middlesbrough have attempted many dribbles in the season so far. They have attempted 388 dribbles with an average of 29.3 dribbles per game. Marcus Tavernier has been one of the players who has attempted a lot of dribbles and has been able to create a threat on the opposition defence by getting into dangerous positions. The above visual shows us the pass map for Tavernier. He has been playing on the right flank for Middlesbrough and has managed to put in great balls with a high expected threat into the penalty area. Being a left-footed player playing on the right flank, he has the freedom to cut in and take a shot on the goal as well. The young winger has scored one and assisted another in the 10 games he has played and will be a key player for Middlesbrough on Wednesday.
Barnsley’s poor start to the campaign has left them struggling in the bottom three of the table. They have struggled in attacking the opposition goal and it is possible that Middlesbrough’s defence might face as many attacks. The visitors are currently on a 10-game winless run losing their last four consecutively and have not won in the league since a matchday two win over Coventry City.
Although Barnsley lost their last game against Reading, they did manage to create a number of opportunities. The xT creation zones indicate that Barnsley did manage to create a threat on the opposition defence while attacking from the right flank. Barnsley did attempt 15 shots on goal with seven shots on target but they failed to be effective in front of goal.
Michal Helik has been the most impressive defender for Barnsley as he has won the second-highest number of defensive duels in the league. Barnsley’s main aim for the game will be that if they are not able to score, they should at least not concede a goal.
While Boro will be clear favourites to win this contest considering Barnsley’s poor form, they still need to show that they can deliver consistent results. Barnsley on the other hand need a win to turn around their bad form as a win can help boost confidence for their upcoming league games.
Middlesbrough predicted starting lineup:
Lumley, Peltier, Bamba, McNair, Tavernier, Howson, Payero, Hernandez, Crooks, Ikpeazu, Sporar.
Barnsley predicted starting lineup:
Collins, Sibbick, Helik, Moon, Brittain, Palmer, Hondermarck, Williams, Frieser, Odour, Woodrow.