The inconsistency factor remains a problem for Thomas Frank's Brentford side, who are struggling to put a string of results together. A late Andre Ayew equaliser earned Swansea City a draw against the Bees in midweek, and cost the west London side an early place in the play-offs.
However, it is now Saturday's opponents who occupy the final play-off spot, with Neil Warnock's men flying high. An opening day defeat to Watford remains the only loss Middlesbrough have suffered this campaign and have since shown real resilience to push up the table.
Frank assured Brentford fans that captain Pontus Jansson will be back in "weeks not months". The Swedish international picked up a hamstring injury in October against Sheffield Wednesday, but fortunately for the Bees the injury is not as serious as first thought.
Brentford will also be without Shandon Baptise, with Frank indicating that the midfielder could face a lengthy time side-lined. Apart from that, the Bees have a full and competitive squad to choose from.
Boro could still be without Sam Morsy who limped off against Nottingham Forest, prior to their 0-0 draw with Blackburn Rovers midweek. The high-flyers could also be without Patrick Roberts whose persistent niggling injuries are continuing to keep the on-loan Manchester City winger out of the side.
Warnock will also have a big decision to make in the forward department, with Chuba Akpom nearing a start. Britt Assombalonga has played three games inside a week and could be rested if deemed necessary.
Brentford (4-3-3): Raya, Dalsgaard, Goode, Pinnock, Henry, Janelt, Jenson, Da Silva, Mbeumo, Toney, Canos.
Middlesbrough (4-2-3-1): Bettinelli, Dijksteel, McNair, Fry, Bola, Tavernier, Howson, Spence, Saville, Johnson, Akpom.
Ones to watch
With 10 goals to his name in his opening 10 games, Ivan Toney is becoming the perfect replacement to Ollie Watkins.
However, it is not just the goals that define how the forward operates. He is a player who will hold up the ball, committing defenders and also has the ability to get in behind and cause problems.
An emerging talent out of the Middlesbrough camp is Djed Spence. The 20-year-old originally broke into the team during the 2019/20 campaign as a right-back, but has since been deployed as more of a winger.
A decision that has turned out for the best. His direct nature, coupled with his ability on the ball had made Spence a real menace in the attacking third and will give Rico Henry a number of problems, if allowed too much time.
It was the Bees who came out on top last season, with two narrow victories over the Boro. Brentford secured a 1-0 victory at the Riverside stadium in early August.
But, it was Griffin Park that saw a more entertaining game, in which a late Ollie Watkins winner earned his Brentford an equally as narrow 3-2 victory.
Kick-off time and how to watch
The games kicks off at 3pm BST and is available to purchase on the respective club's iFollow system.
Brentford fans click here:
Middlesbrough click here: