The main talking point ahead of Saturday’s fixture is the fate of Sheffield Wednesday, who will be relegated should they suffer defeat and Derby County beat Birmingham City. Should Wednesday be relegated this Saturday, it will be at the hands of ex-Sheffield United player and manager, Neil Warnock.
Neil Warnock’s Middlesbrough come into this fixture off the back of victory, beating relegation threatened Rotherham United 2-1 with goals from George Saville and Chuba Akpom. This result moved Boro up to 10th in the Championship table in what’s been a relatively comfortable season for the Teesiders.
Sheffield Wednesday also come into fixture off the back of victory, beating Blackburn Rovers 1-0 with Josh Windass’ first-half effort settling the contest. This result moved the Owls three points closer to safety, closing the gap between themselves and Derby County to just four points.
Neil Warnock confirmed earlier in the week that strikers Britt Assombalonga and Ashley Fletcher will be departing the club this summer, as Dael Fry, Sam Morsy, Marcus Browne and Marcus Tavernier remain amongst the list of long-term absentees.
Interim manager Jamie Smith is expected to name an unchanged eleven from Tuesday, with Keiren Westwood retaining his place in goal once more.
Bettinelli; McNair, Hall, Bola; Kebano, Howson, Saville, Johnson; Watmore, Akpom, Bolasie.
Westwood; Hutchinson, Lees, Borner; Palmer, Pelupessy, Bannan, Reach; Windass, Harris; Rhodes.
Ones to watch
Middlesbrough - Yannick Bolasie
Since reuniting with Neil Warnock in January, Bolasie has shown glimmers of the tricky winger which tore Premier League defences apart many years ago, as the DR Congo international has recorded two goals and three assists in eight games since returning from injury. Bolasie may enjoy himself against one of the Championship’s leakiest defences on Saturday, a player that could torment the Owls if they are not careful.
Sheffield Wednesday - Josh Windass
Windass has impressed in patches this season, but the striker is currently enduring his best run of form in the Championship, exactly when Wednesday need him the most. Windass has scored two goals and assisted three in his last five league games, and the Yorkshire born striker will need to be on top form come Saturday to save his Yorkshire based club. Fight and passion must be shown on the pitch when survival is on the line, a characteristic which Windass has in abundance.
How to watch
The game will be available to watch at 15:00 BST on Saturday on each teams’ iFollow accounts for £10 respectively.
In the build-up to Saturday’s game, Middlesbrough boss Neil Warnock said: ‘’You don't want to see them in this situation. United are getting relegated, I'd rather be looking forward to two Sheffield derbies.
‘’All my relatives who work in Sheffield, when there's a derby it's all you look forward to. The points deduction did them."
Sheffield Wednesday interim manager Jamie Smith said: ‘’We know Middlesbrough will be fired up and ready to play, it's their job as professionals and we expect a tough game.
‘’I have been in this situation with Crystal Palace as a player and it's really important you concentrate on your job and what you have to do.’’