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Sep 18, 2021 at 3pm UK
Tavernier (8')
Fry (12'), Crooks (35')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Ekpiteta (63'), Hall (78' og.)
Gabriel (90+3')

Preview: Middlesbrough vs. Blackpool - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Middlesbrough vs. Blackpool - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Saturday's Championship clash between Middlesbrough and Blackpool, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Middlesbrough play host to Blackpool on Saturday afternoon after ending a four-match winless streak in the Championship earlier this week.

While Boro have moved into ninth place in the standings, Blackpool remain in the relegation zone after suffering a fourth defeat in seven games.

Match preview

Neil Warnock will be the first to admit that his squad have under-performed this season, their midweek win over Nottingham Forest representing just their second victory.

Nevertheless, Warnock will take encouragement from the instant impact which has been made by Onel Hernandez and Andraz Sporar, two additions which could prove to be the difference between mid-table and the playoffs.

Boro still only sit in 11th position despite a favourable run of games, but Warnock will hope that the success at the City Ground can lead to a prolonged change in fortunes.

There is added motivation to put things right against their next opponents having succumbed to a 3-0 defeat in the EFL Cup first round last month.

Neil Critchley would have been extremely encouraged by that performance, a feeling that he also felt during last weekend's shock triumph over Fulham.

Tuesday's demise at home to Huddersfield has altered the mood at Bloomfield Road, however, and the stakes have been raised ahead of their trip to the North-East.

Each of the five points collected this season have come when they were considered huge underdogs, a tag which they do not possess for this contest.

The Tangerines showed what they were capable of against Fulham, but inconsistency over the long term will almost certainly lead to a relegation battle.

Only four players have gotten on the scoresheet in the Championship, while Arsenal loanee Tyreece John-Jules has failed to net in 393 minutes in the final third.

Middlesbrough Championship form:
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • D
  • L
  • W

Blackpool Championship form:
  • L
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • L

Blackpool form (all competitions):
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • L

Team News

On the back of his team's convincing performance in the East Midlands, Warnock will be against making any unnecessary alterations.

Paddy McNair, Marc Bola and Martin Payero may not be risked, despite improving with their respective injuries, but Isaiah Jones could come into contention for a recall.

Duncan Watmore and Uche Ikpeazu are also on standby if Warnock opts against using Hernandez and Sporar for the second time in three days.

Critchley will make changes to his Blackpool XI with Dujon Sterling or Callum Connolly potentially coming back into the team at right-back.

Gary Madine could get the nod over Jerry Yates in attack, while Kevin Stewart may feature in centre midfield.

Middlesbrough possible starting lineup:
Lumley; Djiksteel, Hall, Fry, Peltier; Howson, Siliki; Tavernier, Crooks, Hernandez; Sporar

Blackpool possible starting lineup:
Maxwell; Sterling, Ekpiteta, Keogh, Garbutt; Bowler, Dougall, Stewart, Anderson; Lavery, Madine

We say: Middlesbrough 2-1 Blackpool

With a win over Fulham still fresh in the memory, it would be naive to completely rule out Blackpool winning this game. However, Boro should only get better with their new signings in the team, and we expect a hard-fought triumph for the home side.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home/Away:data

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