Three key questions ahead of Middlesbrough's Championship clash with Wigan at the Riverside
Middlesbrough are back in action tonight when Wigan Athletic will make the trip to the Riverside – and there are plenty of questions ahead of the Championship fixture.
Boro head coach Jonathan Woodgate is still searching for his first competitive win in charge of the Teessiders, while the Latics have also suffered back-to-back league defeats.
Here are a couple of things to watch out for when the sides go head-to-head.
How will Boro cope with Kieffer Moore? – Wigan boss Paul Cook has confirmed he will start the 6’5 frontman who joined the Latics from Barnsley this summer.
It means the visitors are likely to play direct balls into the opposition’s penalty area, something Woodgate’s side struggled to combat at Blackburn on Saturday.
Rovers pinned the Teessiders back in the first half and bypassed Boro’s midfield with their route one approach.
When discussing Moore, Woodgate said “He’s a real handful, he’s a good player but it’s up to us to deal with that threat.”
Who will start at right-back? – New signing Anfernee Dijksteel looks like he’ll be Woodgate’s first-choice option this season but struggled in the Carabao Cup game against Crewe and at Blackburn.
Before those matches, Jonny Howson put in some solid displays on the right side of defence in Boro’s first two Championship fixtures.
The 31-year-old struggled in a more advanced midfield role at Blackburn, though, and it will be interesting to see where he’s deployed against the Latcis.
Howson’s positional switch saw Adam Clayton drop to the bench at Ewood Park and the latter could earn a recall at the Riverside.
Can Boro get the best out of Britt Assombalonga? – The 26-year-old striker registered just 26 touches at Ewood Park and spent most of the afternoon on the fringes.
When Boro did get into promising positions, their crosses into the penalty area were often wasteful as Blackburn looked comfortable at the back.
Assombalonga has found it tough after opening his goal scoring account against Luton and Boro must find a way to get their star striker firing again.