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Middlesbrough haven’t enjoyed much in the way of consistency this season although they are still in with a chance of making it back to the Premier League at the first time of asking. Tony Pulis has replaced Garry Monk at the helm and the former Baggies boss is looking to forge a return to the top-tier in his first season in charge at the Riverside Stadium.
Middlesbrough are far from the finished article and are struggling with consistency, however they are showing signs of improvement in front of their home fans and whilst they will doubtless have been disappointed to have only managed a draw with Sunderland last time out, they head into Friday evening’s meeting with Leeds United on the back of successive home wins over Reading and Hull City.
Leeds United are a side struggling for stability this season and having replaced Thomas Christiansen with Paul Heckingbottom, hopes will be high that the Whites can put behind them their poor form from earlier in the season and close the gap on the play-off places. Heckingbottom’s reign started with a 2-1 defeat at Sheffield United, however it would appear that he is starting to get his ideas across and they head into their weekend clash having drawn with Bristol City and Derby County and won against Brentford.
The 1-0 victory over the Bees was the first time in five Championship outings that Leeds hadn’t both scored and conceded. At the same time, Middlesbrough were battling out a six-goal thriller with the Black Cats and given that the Teessiders have yet to find any defensive stability, we’re expecting a few goals in this encounter. It’s pretty tough to call a winner at the Riverside on Friday evening and with Leeds drawing all-but-one of their last three matches and Middlesbrough drawing at Sunderland last time out, we’ll be siding with the spoils being shared once again on Friday evening.
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