Brentford vs Middlesbrough Preview: Boro hope to extend unbeaten run to six

Middlesbrough look to cement themselves in the Sky Bet Championship play-off positions of the table with a win at Griffin Park on Saturday against Brentford.

Unlike their North-Eastern opponents, the Bees need a drastic upturn in form if they have any chance of reaching the play-offs this season.

Tony Pulis' side currently sit sixth in the Championship table but their grip on the top-six places is slim with Sheffield United hot on their heels, only two points behind in seventh. 

A win could see them jump above Derby County whilst a loss for the Welshman's side could see them slip out of them of the playoff places altogether, depending on the results of both the Blades and Bristol City's games. 

Brentford need a confidence boost

Brentford have hit a rough patch of form at possibly the worst time in the season as the Bees have suffered back to back defeats to Cardiff City and Millwall.

Dean Smith's side find themselves in 11th and are 8 points behind Middlesbrough going into this game. 

“I think with the last two results, it becomes a very big game. We have to go and try to win," Bees boss Smith had to say in his pre-match press conference.

“We try to win every game but the importance with the games running out gets bigger and greater as we get close to the finish line.”

Boro hoping to continue excellent form

Middlesbrough in comparison are in fantastic form with four wins in their last five and hope to make it five in six with a win at Griffin Park.

Boro have the visit of table-topping Wolves to come next Friday, so a much-needed win at Griffin Park could give them the confidence to further dent Wolves' title chances and boost their own Premier League promotion hopes. 

"You have a look at the league and the teams involved and who can still get involved in the shake-up, they will understand and recognise that it will go right to the end," Pulis said during his pre-match press conference.

Team News

Brentford welcome back Florian Jozefzoon after he recovered from a foot injury. The Bees also welcome back Henrik Dalsgaard after his partner had a baby. Andreas Bjelland and Rico Henry are still sidelined through injury.

Boro defender Dani Ayala will face a race against time to be fit for the trip to West London but is set for a fitness test prior to kick-off. In more positive news for the vistors, captain Grant Leadbitter is back after a ban and a hamstring problem.

Predicted Line-ups

Brentford (4-2-3-1): Bentley, Dalsgaard, Egan, Mepham, Barbet, Woods, Yennaris, Canos, Sawyers, Watkins, Maupay

Middlesbrough (4-3-3): Randolph, Shotton, Ayala, Gibson, Friend, Howson, Leadbitter, Clayton, Adama, Bamford, Downing