Middlesbrough and Swansea City Meet at The Riverside Stadium

Middlesbrough return to Championship action with a key game against promotion hunting Swansea City. Jonathan Woodgate’s side know a win is imperative for their chances of staying in the Championship.

Steve Cooper will know Swansea need the points to keep their hopes of finishing in the play-off places alive. Cooper is boosted by the news loanees Ben Wilmot and Freddie Woodman will stay for the conclusion of the season.

Middlesbrough And Swansea City Meet At The Riverside

A Good Opportunity for Middlesbrough

The league suspension will have given Jonathan Woodgate the chance to reflect on his first season in management. Boro have shown in glimpses they are coming together but results have eluded them, hence their struggles.

Middlesbrough head into this game just two points clear of the relegation zone and hold the league’s weakest attack. Woodgate’s team have scored just 37 goals in their 37 matches and that return must improve if they are going to stay up.

Prior to the league suspension, Boro were building some positive momentum having collected five points from their last three games. Woodgate will hope his side can kick on in the final nine games of the season.

Like many Championship clubs, Middlesbrough have out of contract players including key players Daniel Ayala, George Friend and Jonny Howson. Woodgate will want to keep for the remainder of the season as he plots a route to safety.

A win against Swansea would be a huge morale boost for the whole football club.

Swansea City Need the Points to Keep Their Promotion Hopes Alive

Swansea head to Teesside needing three points to maintain their chances of finishing in the play-off places. The Swans are three points adrift of sixth-placed Preston North End and with other sides competing alongside the Swans, Steve Cooper knows his side will need to pick up points.

Prior to the league suspension, the Swans were in disappointing form winning just one of their last nine games. The break will certainly have given Swansea and Steve Cooper a chance to reflect and gear up for the season finish.

Cooper is boosted by the news Ben Wilmot and Freddie Woodman will stay with the club for their final nine games and potentially a play-off campaign.

A must-win for Swansea as they chase the Championship top six. A win could see them move level on points with Preston if results go in their favour.

The Previous Meeting

Swansea brushed Middlesbrough aside when the two sides met in December. An Andre Ayew brace helped the Welsh side to a 3-1 win. Middlesbrough finished that game with nine men in what proved to be a miserable trip to South Wales.

Prediction

With every side needing to adapt to the new rules of football, it could be a slow opening weekend. Middlesbrough are not renowned goal scorers and goals had dried up for Swansea prior to the league suspension.

Middlesbrough are targeting back to back wins for the first time since December. Swansea are hunting a first win in four games. A tight contest expected at the Riverside Stadium

Middlesbrough 1-1 Swansea City

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