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Boro v Sheffield Wednesday 1-0


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Monday, December 28th... Riverside Stadium... KO 5.15pm

 

Buongiorno!! After a waterlogged pitch led to us being merely spectators as the entire football pyramid played yesterday, we move swiftly onto the next match. Apologies, but it means you're stuck with me for at least one more game. And so, on with the show...

 

The Form.

 

[align=left]Middlesbrough are on fire at the minute. Three wins on the bounce, top of the form league, second in the Championship with a game in hand on Derby, and we haven't conceded a league goal in nine hours! A very professional performance against Brighton secured a 3-0 win and an end to their unbeaten run. Kike, Adomah and Stuani all getting on the scoresheet in a game where we controlled the tempo from the very first minute. 

Our last 6 games include 5 wins and a draw, scoring 9 without reply. Only Birmingham have kept us from scoring. [/align]

 

Sheff Wednesday ran out comfortable 3-0 winners at home against Birmingham in their last game, with Fernando Forestieri's brace either side of a Kieran Lee goal sealing the points. They limited Brum to 2 shots on target, and dominated proceedings throughout.

It was Wednesday's second win on the bounce, and means that in their last 6 they've won 2, drawn 3 and lost 1. In that time they've scored 12 and conceded 7.

 

The Opposition.

 

Sheffield currently sit 7th in the Championship, a point behind Ipswich and the playoffs. They're joint second top scorers - with Derby - having notched 35 goals so far in the campaign, but have conceded 27 (only 3 teams have conceded more in the top half of the table). The club changed hands in January this year, and the new owners are looking to improve on last season's mid table finish, and gain promotion.

 

At the end of June, Carlos Carvalhal was appointed as their manager. It is the Portuguese coach's first job in England. He's had brief stints in Turkey and Greece, but has mainly managed in his homeland, where he became the first manager in the country to take a third division side to the UEFA Cup after guiding Leixoes to the Portuguese Cup final. He's spent the last three years as Al Ahli's technical director.

 

Sheffield Wednesday's squad improved significantly over the summer, with loans for Jack Hunt (Palace) and mooted Boro target Gary Hooper (Norwich) and signings such as Barry Bannan (Palace), Forestieri (Watford) and Marco Matias & Lucas Joao (both Nacional). Forestieri and Joao are the club's top scorers in the league this season, with 10 and 5 respectively.

 

Probable Line Up.

 

Well, with us missing the Blackburn game, Nugent's ban is still in effect for this game, which means Kike should start up top again. It also means that we don't have such a rush of games, our players won't be fatigued, and there's no need to rotate with almost a week until our next game at Derby. With that in mind, I imagine this will be the team AK picks, but he's likely got an ace up his sleeve.

 

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View From The Otherside.

 

Found them discussing team selection for our game on the OwlsTalk forum here: 

Sheffield Wednesday Fan Forum

 

Interesting Sheffield Wednesday Facts

 

[align=left]

  1. Sheffield Wednesday began as The Wednesday Cricket Club in 1820. The name came from the day of the week when they played their matches due to the tradesmen having a half-day.
  2. Known as The Owls as the club are located in an area of Sheffield that used to be known as Owlerton.
  3. 'Signed' James Lang - widely considered to be the first professional footballer - in 1876.

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Other Noteworthy Fixtures.

 

Preston v Hull

Burnley v Bristol City

Brighton v Ipswich (Tuesday)

Leeds v Derby (Tuesday)

 

Talking Points.

[align=left]

 

  1. Do you see us sticking with the same team?
  2. Score predictions
  3. Will we be top come Tuesday evening?
  4. Where do we need to improve come January?
  5. Are you off to the game?

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3 wins in the next 3 games would be absolutely massive  not only for the obvious 9 points which would firmly put us out there right at the top  but we would have completed our games against 3 dangerous sides in Derby, Sheff Wed and Brentford  .

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Another cracking OP, OMG

 

1. No reason to mess with the team from brighton

2. 2-1

3. If 2 is correct then obviously

4. For me, a left mid and if Bamford is available then get him back

5. Oh yes, north stand for me, looking forward to it only rason I came north for xmas ( dont tell the family though)

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Sounds like they might rest a few players from their forum. Think the difference in rest period gives us an extra little edge. Plus our home form ain't bad. Hopefully they'll play into our hands as well by coming and attacking us. They don't seem like a 'plonk everyone behind the ball' sort of team.

 

2-0 Boro! Stuani and Clayton to score

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Its going to be a tough game but we need to take advantage of our rest & them playing 2 games in 3 days.

 

I think we got to come flying out the traps, Score early & make them feel tired.. A slow start from us won't be acceptable, Our players are fresh & should be busting a gut to play & win again.

 

Boro 3-1 Sheff Wed.

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Must come out of the traps flying, I think we need a goal in the first 15 mins and then control the game with a high tempo.

I think second half they will start to feel very leggy, because of this I'm saying it will be a convincing 4-0 win

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Well there was a slight sting in the tail from one of the B's we should have played against and because of that this game now takes on mammoth proportions which I would imagine all members would agree upon.

 

Good to see the SW boss complaining about our fixture being cancelled but think it is part and parcel of mind games from him as I am sure he fancies a result at The Riverside adopting the tried and tested methods of many of our home opposition so far, yep park the bus and try and hold out and frustrate the best you can and hope to stop Boro from scoring.

 

Ok it does not often work as far as getting a positive result against us but certainly we have not been scoring many at home due to those tactics so fair to say that there could be a change in the air.

 

We simply have to (ok I accept that some will not agree) get back into top spot so a draw would not allow that due to Derby's better goal difference and with the fact we play Derby next this really could very well define to a degree and cement Boro as one of the top two teams moving ahead.

 

With a win the fact that we now have a game in hand could prove useful later on so taking all things into consideration I feel justified in using my very seldom used phrase in that this game could take the mantle of THE MOST IMPORTANT GAME OF THE SEASON........so far!!!

 

I certainly do not think we will witness a "typical Boro" performance and that we will take it to Wednesday and will win by at least a 2 goal margin

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