Britt Assombalonga to miss out? and other key questions ahead of Middlesbrough's trip to Huddersfield
Middlesbrough boss Jonathan Woodgate will hope his side can stop the rot when they travel to Huddersfield tonight – and there are plenty of questions ahead of the game at the John Smith’s Stadium.
We’ve picked out three things to look out for in West Yorkshire, where defeat would see the Teessiders drop into the Championship relegation zone.
Will Britt Assombalonga keep his place? – The Boro frontman has scored just once in his last six games – and even that was originally deemed an own goal by Preston defender Darnell Fisher.
Woodgate has backed the forward since the start of the season, yet the Teessiders’ lack of options didn’t exactly give the Boro head coach much choice.
Ashley Fletcher could also play in the central striker role so Assombalonga shouldn’t be undroppable if performances aren’t up to scratch.
Still, it would take a bold call for Woodgate to leave out his first-choice No 9.
How will Boro approach the game? – It would be a surprise if Boro changed their formation following an improved performance against West Brom on Saturday, when the use of wing-backs gave the Teessiders more security at the back.
Against the Baggies, despite their lack of possession, Woodgate’s side still showed they can press high up the pitch and create chances.
That wasn’t the case at Birmingham, when Boro looked worryingly vulnerable playing in a 4-3-3 set-up and repeatedly invited pressure.
With improvements needed at both ends of the pitch, the Teessiders will need to find the right balance against an improving Terriers side who have taken seven points from their last three games.
Will Woodgate make any changes? – Following an improved performance at the weekend, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Woodgate stuck with the same side which started against West Brom.
Jonny Howson and Marvin Johnson adapted well to the wing-back roles while a three-man defence made Boro harder to break down.
The possible changes could come further up the pitch, after midfielder George Saville took a whack to his ankle against West Brom and required ice afterwards.
Woodgate may also tinker with his two forward players, after Marcus Tavernier played just behind Assombalonga on Saturday.