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Match Previews

Preview: Middlesbrough v Burnley

15 December 2015

The games are coming thick and fast in the Sky Bet Championship and Tuesday sees Burnley take on second-placed Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium.

A 0-0 draw away at QPR at the weekend saw the Clarets extend their unbeaten run on the road to eight games and keep them in 5th place.

Boro also head into the game on the back of a stalemate against Birmingham City on Saturday. Aitor Karanka’s men will look to build on impressive home form that has seen them keep a clean sheet in their last six successive home outings.

They will be without striker David Nugent after he was sent off against Birmingham for wrestling Stephen Gleeson to the floor late on.

Middlesbrough: WWLWD
Burnley: DDDLD

Uruguayan international forward Christian Stuani has been one of Boro’s standout performers in the Sky Bet Championship, having already netted eight times this season.

The 29-year-old signed from Espanyol in the summer as Aitor Karanka looks to go one better than their Play-Off final heartbreak last season and reach the Premier League.

His most recent strike came as Boro recorded an impressive away victory against Ipswich Town in front of the Sky Sports cameras, and he could prove to be a handful on Tuesday night.

Burnley 0-1 Middlesbrough (Butterfield)

Burnley: Heaton, Trippier, Mee, Shackell, Duff, Kightly (Wallace, 80), Jones, Marney, Arfield (Stanislas, 80), Barnes, Ings.

Subs not used: Cisak, Long, Treacy, Edgar, Baird.

Middlesbrough: Konstantopoulos, Tomlin, Butterfield (Varga, 72), Woodgate, Leadbitter, Ledesma, Whitehead, Chalobah, Ayala, Graham (Main, 90), Adomah.

Subs not used: Steele,  L. Williams,, Morris, Atkinson, Jackson.

Booked: Whitehead (79), Ayala (90)

Referee: D.Whitestone

Sean Dyche has a fully-fit squad to choose from aside from long-term absentees Lukas Jutkiewicz and Ashley Barnes.

For the hosts, Karanka is without the services of the suspended David Nugent while Rhys Williams (achilles) is a major doubt.

Referee Geoff Eltringham will officiate Tuesday's Sky Bet Championship game between Middlesbrough and the Clarets at the Riverside Stadium.

So far this season the County Durham-based official has taken charge of nineteen games, where he has produced a total of 41 yellow cards and three reds.

The last Burnley game he refereed was a 0-1 Capital One Cup defeat to Sheffield Wednesday back in August 2014 and only two players were booked on that occasion.

Mr Eltringham will be assisted by Shaun Hudson, Barry Gordon and Fourth Official Nigel Miller.

Sean Dyche: “It’s a run of tough games and you have to earn the right in every game. But on paper it’s fair to say there are some grounds, there are some teams that are bigger challenges.

“Middlesbrough after being up there all last year are back there up there this year and it’s a big challenge for us but we’re happy to take that on.

“We did that on Saturday against QPR with a very solid and very strong performance overall.”

Aitor Karanka: "It's a big game. It's a really good team and they're going to be fighting until the end to get promoted again.

"They are a strong team with a good character so it will be tough but we have to look at ourselves and our performance at home."

Burnley can be backed at 3/1 with Sky Bet to register a fourth away win of their Championship campaign when they take on Middlesbrough (19/20) at the Riverside on Tuesday evening.

Sean Dyche’s men are five points adrift of second-placed Boro in the table and are 16/1 to win the title and 100/30 to gain promotion back to the Premier League by any means.

The Clarets haven’t won in five but earned a draw at QPR on Saturday and it’s 23/10 against another stalemate here. Four of Burnley’s last five matches have produced under 2.5 goals and that’s an 8/13 chance, with 1-1 the favourite in the correct score market at 9/2.

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