Opposition watch: Middlesbrough

The low-down on Wednesday's opponents from the Riverside Stadium

A fixture which has proven to be a fruitful one for Wanderers in recent years, matches with Middlesbrough have never been dull affairs.

With the Whites having emerged victorious in four of the last seven meetings between the two sides – the last of which came back in April of this year in a 2-1 win at the Reebok – Wednesday’s clash looks set to be a cracker.

A fixture which was on hiatus for three years following Boro’s relegation from the top flight back in 2009, last season’s games yielded a win apiece for both sides.

A team which have picked up a reputation for their unpredictability – after narrowly missing out on the play-offs in 2012, they proceeded to slump to a 16th place finish last term – Boro started out the current campaign in similar form, producing just three wins in the first four months.

Languishing in the lower reaches of the league table, their poor form ultimately cost manager Tony Mowbray his job in the Boro hotseat, with former Real Madrid assistant manager Aitor Karanka being installed in his place in time for Wanderers’ visit to the Riverside last month.

Grant Leadbitter’s late penalty kick ensured that the new boss would begin life on home soil with a 1-0 victory – a win which has arguably kick started Middlesbrough’s campaign with ten points collected since.

Heading to the Reebok on the back of three consecutive victories, Karanka’s side will be hoping to improve upon an away record which currently boasts just two wins on their travels against Millwall and Charlton.

The form of winger Albert Adomah has undoubtedly been crucial to Boro’s season so far, with the former Bristol City man having notched nine goals in 22 appearances following his summer move from the relegated Robins.

After notching in Middlesbrough’s 3-0 win over Reading on Sunday afternoon – his second in three games - the 26-year-old will hoping that his rich vein of form in front of goal continues on Wednesday.

With Wanderers keen to bounce back from the weekend’s 5-3 defeat to Leicester, the Whites will be aiming to halt Boro’s thee game unbeaten run and start the New Year with a bang.
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