Boro hold Swansea to stalemate in South Wales

Boro hold Swansea to stalemate in South Wales
Alvaro Negredo scores a penalty in the reverse fixture at the Riverside in December 2016 | Photo: Getty Images/Nigel Roddis
Swansea City
0 0
Middlesbrough
Swansea City: Fabianski; Naughton, Fernandez, Mawson, Olsson; Carroll, Fer, Cork; Narsingh, Ayew, Sigurdsson.
Middlesbrough: Valdes, Barragan, Bernardo, Gibson, Fabio (Forshaw, 60); Clayton, de Roon; Traore, Ramirez (Gestede, 38), Downing; Negredo
REFEREE: Bobby Madley (ENG) Admonished Fer (min. 16), Fabio (min. 22), Negredo (min. 69) Gestede (min. 79)
INCIDENTS: English Premier League fixture between Swansea City and Middlesbrough at the Liberty Stadium.

Thank you for joining me for VAVEL UK's live coverage of this game between Swansea City and Middlesbrough.

FULL TIME: Swansea looked dominant especially through out the second half but when presented with a golden chance to finish the tie, Gestede headed wide of the target.

FULL TIME: Swansea are a point outside of the relegation zone and play Tottenham on Wednesday

FULL TIME: The draw means Middlesbrough are four points from Hull City in 18th place

FULL TIME Swansea City 0-0 Middlesbrough

90+2' An excellent ball from Negredo sets up Gestede who's header can't find the target

90' 3 minutes are added on for stoppages

89' Only Ben Gibson knows how he prevented Leroy Fer from scoring from 6 yards out. A foul is comitted from the following corner.

87' A flurry of set pieces for Swansea see opportunities for Swansea to score, but Boro hold tight

85' A Gylfi Sigurdsson free kick deflects behind for a corner 

80' Swansea are pressing heavily for an opener. Bernardo has to be smart to head an Olsson cross away

75' Negredo gets the ball in behind the Swansea defence but the ball wont sit for him and he cannot get a good shot away

74' Alfie Mawson is the latest player to see a shot go off target. His header was misqued wide of the post.

69' Negredo receives a booking for a late challenge

64' CLOSE! Sigurdsson hits a rocket towards the top corner, but the Spaniard Valdes flies to save the ball one-handed

56' Swansea's left hand side causing Boro problems as Martin Olsson find space but skews his shot wide of the post.

53' A lively exhange sees first Boro shoot wide through Traore and then Swansea counter and Sigurdsson's shot blocked by Antonio Barragan

48' Sigurdsson takes the first shot of the second half, but it is easily taken by Valdes

46' The game in back underway with Middlebrough kicking off the half

45' +4 Half time at the Liberty Stadium and the score is still 0-0

45' Four minutes are added on for stoppage time

38' Ramirez is replaced by Rudy Gestede who partners Alvaro Negerdo up front for Boro

37' After coming back on the the field, Ramriez goes down again and looks to be unable to return

34' Tom Carroll receives the ball from Leroy Fer and unleashes a shot which narrowly missess Valdes' right-hand post

32' Gaston Ramirez goes down following a challange with Narsingh

24' A dangerous Sigurdsson free-kick is smothered by Victor Valdes

17' Swansea foul Adama Traore twice in the space of 90 seconds.

12' Middlesbrough start to look lively with Negredo's shot blocked by a Swansea body.

10' Jordan Ayew breaks on Middlesbrough and hits a shot with is parried away by Valdes and goes behind for a corner.

7' Martin Olsson finds his way in behind the Boro backline, but his shot flies wide of the goal

5' Middlesbrough earn the first corner of the game after a good run forward from Fabio.

3' Gaston Ramirez looks to be lining up on the left hand side of the attacking trio, with Stewart Downing playing a central role.

1' Swansea get the game underway in their entirely white kit.

This game has been branded as 'Can't defend vs can't score' by BBC journalist Alistair Mann. He claims a defeat for either tea could spell trouble for their season.

30 minutes to kick off now

Patrick Bamford is not part of the match day squad for Middlesbrough, despite Steve Agnew saying that he was part of his plans during the week. Bamford rejoined Boro during the January window for a reported £6 million, but has only seen the field a handful of times since then.

As for the visitors, they revert to the 4-2-3-1 formation which they used so frequently under Karanka during their time in the championship. The last time they played 4-2-3-1 in the Premier League, they beat Bournemouth 2-0 at home in October.

Fernando Llorente misses today's match with an ankle injury as Jordan Ayew replaces him, leading the line for the Swans.

While Swansea bring back in their fullbacks who were absent for their last match, Middlesbrough and Steve Agnew keeps faith with the back four which conceaded three to Manchester United a fortnight ago.

Swansea XI: Fabianski; Naughton, Fernandez, Mawson, Olsson; Carroll, Fer, Cork; Narsingh, Ayew, Sigurdsson

Middlesbrough XI to play Swansea: Valdes; Barragan, Bernardo, Gibson, Fabio; Clayton, de Roon; Traore, Ramirez, Downing; Negredo.

Swansea head into this game having won one of their last four matches, but welcome back two defenders in Martin Olsson and Kyle Naughton who have missed previous matches through injury. Middlesbrough also see the return of a defender in the shape of Daniel Ayala after their back line has been diminished lately. The club still waits for the returns of George Friend and Calum Chambers.

Despite a loss in his first game as Boro boss, Agnew is confident that he is the right man to keep Middlesbrough in the Premier League. This confidence is shared by his chairman, Steve Gibson, who told BT Sport that he hopes the former assistant to Steve Bruce is at the club for years to come.

Middlesbrough, on the other hand, have also seen a manager leave - but this happened less than a month ago. Boro's last league win came against Swansea before Christmas and this run of 11 games without a win was a deciding factor in Aitor Karanka eventually leaving the North East outfit and Steve Agnew being placed in temporary charge.

The forms of these two clubs has been very different since their last meeting. Boro put three goals past Swansea at the Riverside in December and the Welsh side looked destined for the Championship under Bob Bradley. Bradley has since departed, however, and his successor Paul Clement has done a very good job to take Swansea out of the relegation zone and given them a fighting chance of survival.

Swansea are now out of the relegation places on goal difference, and Middlesbrough are five points from safety. A Swans win would leave the Teessiders eight points from safety and would surely spell an end to their time in the Premier League.

For weeks, people associated with both these teams knew of its significance with regard to the relegation battle, but Saturday's results have made three points all the more vital for both sides. Both Hull City and Crystal Palace won 2-1 over West Ham and Chelsea respectively.

Hello there and welcome to Vavel UK's live coverage of the Premier League as Swansea City vs Middlesbrough live in a match which could have serious implications at the bottom end of the table. The game kicks off at the Liberty Stadium at 1:30pm GMT, but before then we will have the team news and build up to this clash between two clubs fighting for the right to play the England's top flight next season.