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Stoke vs Middlesbrough predictions: Boro to reignite play-off challenge
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James Mason
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Michael Carrick will be eager to see Middlesbrough improve on one win in their last seven Championship games.
Michael Carrick will be eager to see Middlesbrough improve on one win in their last seven Championship games.

- Stoke have won just one of their last 15 home games in all competitions
- Middlesbrough have won three of their last four away league matches
- Recommended bet: Middlesbrough to win

Middlesbrough will be aiming to kickstart their promotion challenge when they head to the bet365 Stadium to face relegation-threatened Stoke on Saturday.

Boro's season has been full of peaks and troughs and they head to Staffordshire having tasted success in just one of their last seven assignments in all competitions.

Michael Carrick's side find themselves 11 points off the play-off places and they are closer to the relegation zone heading into this weekend's fixtures, with nine points the gap to 22nd-placed City.

But, with the Potters in deep trouble and struggling for results on home turf, this looks like a perfect opportunity for Boro to return to the winner's circle.

Team news

Stoke will be without the suspended Jordan Thompson, who starts a two-game ban for collecting his 10th yellow card of the campaign last time out.

Luke McNally is still sidelined through injury and Ryan Mmaee is expected to remain unavailable for selection due to an internal disciplinary matter.

The Teessiders have a lengthy injury list that includes Jonathan Howson, Hayden Hackney, Josh Coburn, Isaiah Jones, Thomas Smith, Alex Bangura and Darragh Lenihan.

Dael Fry could return from a groin injury and he will be assessed closer to the time.

The stats

Stoke have collected just 19 points from 17 home matches this season, only Rotherham, Millwall, Swansea and QPR have amassed less.

The Potters have won just one of their last 11 fixtures at the bet365 Stadium, that sole victory coming against fellow strugglers QPR, while their tally of 12 goals scored at home is the worst record in the division.

Middlesbrough have managed to take 23 points from their 16 away matches this term, giving them the seventh-highest points return on the road in the Championship.

Boro have won three of their last four away games in the league, beating Huddersfield, Millwall and Leicester.

Steven Schumacher will be keen to see Stoke arrest a slide that has seen them drop into the bottom three.
Steven Schumacher will be keen to see Stoke arrest a slide that has seen them drop into the bottom three.

Prediction

Six defeats from their last seven matches has seen Stoke drop into the relegation zone and although they are just three points behind 18th-place Birmingham, the squad's confidence is at rock-bottom.

The bet365 Stadium has not been a happy ground for the Potters this season, with just five wins recorded and the atmosphere could become toxic if they struggle again on Saturday.

Middlesbrough need to go some if they are going to sneak into the play-offs, but they will still feel there is a chance of putting together a winning streak and this can start in Staffordshire.

Carrick's men have been churning out impressive performances on the road, most recently winning at league leaders Leicester and they can pick up a crucial three points at Stoke's expense.

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