Middlesbrough vs. Man City
Venue: Riverside Stadium
Kick off: 2:05PM
Middlesbrough face Manchester City at the Riverside Stadium on Sunday (today) with their Premier League status hanging by a thread, giving themselves a much-needed shot in the arm with victory over Sunderland in midweek.
While bottom-placed Sunderland is officially relegated, Boro know that should the dream scenario come true over the next few days, they will be within three points of safety – emphasis on the word “dream”, because it will take an awful lot for that to come to fruition.
Momentum looks to be extremely tough to find at this late stage in proceedings, though, with Chelsea and Liverpool also to come away from home in their final five matches, requiring wins in near enough all of those to overhaul the teams above them.
On the back of one of the most uneventful Manchester derby clashes in recent memory, the Citizens are left with their fate in their own hands in pursuit of a top-four finish – their minimum target for the season when Pep Guardiola took charge last summer.
Merely finishing fourth in the league and failing to add any silverware to the cabinet, making this the first trophy-less campaign in Guardiola’s managerial career to date, is a very poor return for the club’s owners who again spent big last summer.
City are now just two points off Liverpool in third with a game in hand to play, while also sitting a point in front of Man United who are still to face fifth-placed Arsenal in the remaining weeks of the season – something has to give in that one.
Middlesbrough Possible XI: Guzan, Chambers, Bernardo, Gibson, Friend, De Roon, Clayton, Forshaw, Downing, Negredo, Ramirez.
Manchester City Possible XI: Caballero, Navas, Otamendi, Kompany, Clichy, De Bruyne, Toure, Fernandinho; Sterling, Aguero, Sane.