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Match Previews

Preview: Burnley v Middlesbrough

19 April 2016

Burnley welcome league leaders Middlesbrough tonight at Turf Moor after extending their unbeaten run to 19 games at the weekend with a 2-1 win over Birmingham City.

Goals either side of half-time from George Boyd and Andre Gray were enough to win the game despite pressure from the Blues after Jacques Maghoma had headed home.

Visitors Middlesbrough arrive in confident mood having won their last six games.

Last time out, they left it late against Bolton Wanderers to win 2-1 in the early-kick off and remain two points clear at the top of the Sky Bet Championship.

Jordan Rhodes scored both in the second half to complete the turnaround after Josh Vela had given the Trotters the lead early in the second half.

(Last five games in all competitions)

Burnley: DDDWW

Middlesbrough: WWWWW

Scotland international Jordan Rhodes was signed by Middlesbrough from Blackburn Rovers for a reported fee of around £9million.

Since joining the club in the January transfer window Rhodes has scored four goals in 14 appearances for the club.

His first goal for Middlesbrough came in a 1-1 draw with MK Dons with a late equaliser and his recent double against Bolton Wanderers could prove vital in the promotion race.

He is a clinical striker who can pop up with goals from just about anywhere on the pitch and close tabs will be kept on him tonight.

Middlesbrough (Fabbrini 36') 1-2 Burnley (Hennings 45', Ward 71')

Burnley: Heaton, Darikwa, Mee, Keane, Ward, Kightly (Arfield 70), Jones (Barton 77), Ulvestad, Boyd, Hennings, Vokes (C Long 90)

Subs: Gilks, Lowton, Taylor, Anderson

Middlesbrough: Mejias, Nugent, Forshaw, Friend, Amorebieta (Nsue 52), Kalas, Ayala, Adomah, De Pena (Stuani 76), Fabbrini (Kike 76) Clayton.

Subs: Agazzi, Gibson, Leadbitter, Downing.

Referee: S Hooper

Attendance: 18,286 (1,275)

Sean Dyche will make late checks on the fitness of Joey Barton and Sam Vokes ahead of tonight’s visit of Middlesbrough.

Joey Barton was replaced at half-time at Birmingham by David Jones with a calf problem, while Ashley Barnes replaced Sam Vokes in the starting line-up after he suffered a groin problem against Leeds.

Middlesbrough striker Cristhian Stuani serving the last match of his three-game ban, with Jordan Rhodes expected to continue up front.

Referee Michael Jones will take charge of tomorrow night’s Sky Bet Championship clash against Middlesbrough at Turf Moor (7.45pm).

The Chester official has refereed 35 games, issuing 116 yellow cards and 2 red cards in the process.

Earlier this season, Jones was the man in the middle for the East Lancashire derby against Blackburn Rovers, where he awarded the decisive penalty in the 1-0 win.

Six players were booked on that occasion, Matt Lowton and Fredrik Ulvestad for the Clarets and four for the visitors.

Mr Jones will be assisted by Mr Andrew Garratt, Mr Adrian Holmes and fourth official Darren England.

Sean Dyche: “It’s another important game and they all are. It has a different feeling to it because it’s one and two in the division.

“It still comes down to us delivering a performance and we want the lads to go out there with shoulders back, ready to go with all the information we need.

“It’s helpful we’re at Turf Moor with the fans behind us. The fans have been superb all season and it’s almost no matter what happens the fans are with us.

“That’s a really important factor. I spoke when I got here about a one club mentality and the connection between the fans and the players. It’s solid as a rock here and we need that.”

Aitor Karanka: “It’s a big game, especially because they’re one of our direct rivals for promotion.

“We have to know that we’re going into this game in a really good position. Burnley were in the Premier League last season with the same team.

“They have players coming from the Premier League and players coming from the Championship for big money but we’re still above them.

“That means we’re doing a really good job and I want to give all the credit to my players.”

Burnley are the narrow 8/5 favourites for victory at home to Sky Bet Championship leaders Middlesbrough in Tuesday night’s massive clash between the top two at Turf Moor.

Boro have been priced up by Sky Bet at 17/10 to leave with the three points and the draw is on offer at 23/10.

Both of Burnley’s last two games have ended in wins by one goal and Sky Bet offer 3/1 that the Clarets claim victory over Boro by a one goal margin.

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