Burnley v Middlesbrough
12/4/14 (Kick-off 15:07)
Burnley will look to keep their foot to the floor in the Championship as they prepare to take on Middlesbrough at Turf Moor this weekend.
The Clarets sit second, 11 points clear of third placed Derby County with just five games remaining, meaning victory could prove decisive.
Standing in their way is Aitor Karanka’s Middlesbrough. The Spanish Revolution is starting to take shape, and the Boro have won their last three games, scoring six and conceding just one.
The game will be the 56th league meeting between the two clubs. Both the Clarets and Middlesbrough have won 20 of the previous match-ups, with the other 15 ending in a draw.
Before the game, a minute silence will be observed for the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster.
All games around the country will kick off seven minutes later than usual, as a mark of respect for the lives lost in the tragedy.
Last Five Matches:
Middlesbrough Star Man: Albert Adomah
The Ghanaian has been a revelation since his arrival on Teesside. The £1million summer signing from Bristol City has scored 12 goals for Boro this campaign, and is being tipped to be part of Akwasi Appiah’s Ghana squad for the World Cup Finals in Brazil this summer. The creative winger offers bags of pace, and will be dangerous on the counter-attack on Saturday.
Last Time Out:
Barnsley 0-1 Burnley
Burnley: Heaton, Baird, Shackell, Duff, Mee, Kightly, Marney, Jones, Arfield, Ings (Treacy, 88), Barnes.
Subs not used: Cisak, Stock, Wallace, Edgar, Long, Trippier.
Barnsley: Steele, Kennedy, Nyatanga, M’voto, Dawson, Mellis (Noble-Lazarus,60), Woods (McCourt, 81), McLaughlin, Cywka, O’Grady, Jennings.
Subs not used: Turner, Proschwitz, Hassell, Hunt, Frimpong.
Middlesbrough 3-1 Birmingham City
Middlesbrough: Konstantopoulos, Varga, Omeruo, Gibson, Friend (Woodgate 20), Chalobah, Leadbitter, Adomah, Butterfield (Tomlin 76), Williams (Ledesma 67), Graham.
Subs not used: Steele, Main, Atkinson, Kitching.
Birmingham: Randolph, Spector (Adeyemi 83), Thorpe, Robinson, Reilly, Huws, Caddis, Burke, Shinnie (Ibe 66), Novak (Zigic, 45), Macheda.
Subs not used: Doyle, Packwood, Lee, Ferguson.
Last Meeting at Turf Moor:
Burnley 0-0 Middlesbrough
Burnley: Grant, Trippier, Lafferty, Shackell, Long, Stock (Vokes 70), Marney, McCann, Austin, Paterson (Treacy 70), Stanislas.
Subs not used: Mills, Edgar, Bartley, Richards, Jensen.
Middlesbrough: Steele, Friend, Bikey, McManus, Halliday (Miller 73), R Williams, Bailey, Leadbitter, McEachran, Emnes (Main 68), Smallwood (Carayol 53).
Subs not used: L Williams, Ledesma, Haroun, Leutwiler.
Burnley: Junior Stanislas (Hamstring) will be assessed before the game with Sam Vokes the only long term absentee (Knee).
Middlesbrough: Boro will be without both centre-halves that started the game at home to Birmingham on Tuesday.
Kenneth Omeruo on loan from Chelsea, and academy graduate Ben Gibson were both sent off in the victory over the Blues and will be suspended for the game with Burnley.
Full-Back George Friend also came off injured with a groin strain in that match and won’t be risked for this one.
Other absentees include winger Mustapha Carayol (Knee) and Rhys Williams (Achilles).
Jonathan Woodgate is almost certain to start the game at Turf Moor after recovering from a calf injury.
Stat of the Day: Burnley need two more wins to set a new points record. Their greatest ever points total for a season across all four divisions so far is 88, in the promotion season of 1999/2000, when the Clarets were promoted from Division Two as runners-up (now known as League 1).
Sean Dyche: “They (Middlesbrough) are a good side that have probably under achieved looking at their squad on paper.
“Football’s not won on paper of course, but I think they’ve got a real good squad and the manager has got his points across slowly but surely.
“Their recent form has been very good and we can’t underestimate that.
Aitor Karanka: “The best way to prepare for next season is to finish this season by winning games because you feel more comfortable and happier."
Championship Fixtures (kick-off 15:07 unless stated)
Saturday, April 12, 2014.
QPR v Nottm Forest (12:22)
Bolton v Barnsley
Brighton v Charlton
Derby v Huddersfield
Ipswich v Doncaster
Leeds v Blackpool
Millwall v Watford
Sheff Wed v Blackburn
Yeovil v Bournemouth
Monday, April, 14, 2014.
Reading v Leicester (20:07)