Can Boro Take Out Stoke?
By Rob Nichols
Friday 02 Nov 2018 18:01:00
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Back to Championship action as Boro fans travel to Stoke tomorrow looking to put one over the team relegated from the Premier. Boro know all about being weighed down by the weight of expectation to bounce back first time of asking to the Premier League. Boro must ensure The Potters problems continue. Our team from the north east must respond positively to an ego bruising home game with Derby County. Kick off 5.30pm at the ground formerly known as the Britannia for tea time satellite viewers.

It is a return for Potters fallen saviour, Tony Pulis. The man in the cap and white trainers was deselected by fans as the love affair soured. The moral of that tail could be careful what you wish for or you end up with Mark Hughes.

Like Boro, our hosts Stoke City have found life more to their liking on the road of late. A very creditable draw at Bramall Lane was followed by taking all 3 points away at Bristol City. This sounds a familiar tale to Boro fans who have experienced the frustrations of failing to win at home and indeed only breaking a mini scoring drought via a Derby defender. Away from the Riverside we have put both Ipswich and Sheff Wed to the sword. So, something should give tomorrow, between those opposing records... Unless it is a draw.

Stoke have asked their fans to be patient, so that sounds like frustrations are boiling over somewhat the Bet365 Stadium. Hopefully we can add to the pressure on manager, Gary Rowett and his former top flighters. We must not allow The Potters to think those good results on the road represent the start of a revival. Therefore an early goal for Boro would be most welcome.

Sad news about Sam McQueen, manager Tony Pulis confirmed that the injury that saw him stretchered from the field v Crystal Palace was very serious, a cruciate snap. We wish him well.

McQueen might have been poised to play a part on Saturday. Right back Ryan Shotton is still out and perhaps the most likely replacement, Dael Fry is also a doubt. Daniel Ayala will be out suspended. I don’t think we will see paddy McNair risked as a defensive right back, most likely Danny Batth will come in to bolster the defences with Flint and Fry if fit. But it will be a problem for Tony Pulis should Fry not make it.

Both Tavernier and goalsorer Lewis Wing will surely have put themselves in contention after their starring roles against Palace. You would think that they both must be in the squad at least. But will Pulis keep faith in the players that have brought those two successive away wins? You cannot see a Boro team taking the field without Mo Besic and Stewart Downing. We absolutely need Adam Clayton fighting the warrior role behind. Up front there is pressure on Britt to find True Britt form. Jordan Hugill’s hold up play v Palace was closer to the form he showed when playing for Preston. We would love the player that caused our defence all sorts of problems at Deepdale to suddenly find his feet and head at the Riverside. Rudy Gestede is getting closer and closer to a call to start a game. Thrown on late it can lead to the team just throwing the ball up for his head.

Here’s hoping we can get back on course with a third successive away win.

Oh and a tip for away fans. Look out for The Oatcake Boat on the canal beneath the stadium selling the local delicacy.

Come On Boro and Up The Boro

 



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