Jonny Bullock returns with another episode of the Boro Breakdown podcast, and previews Friday evenings televised clash against Wolves.
The league leaders have been impressive this season and are deservedly sitting top of the table going into the latter stages of a full-throttle promotion campaign.
Boro, along with Wolves themselves, were highly tipped to land a much sought after automatic promotion place, but have endured a much different tale of fortunes to Wanderers.
The reverse fixture at Moleniux kicked off the season and was settled by just the one goal from Leo Bonatini. A tight affair, settled by a mistake from Daniel Ayala. Will this time round be more of the same?
The international break has given Boro’s squad time for a much-needed recharge ahead of a difficuly run-in, in which Boro face four of their play-off rivals.
But manager Tony Pulis revealed all other international players have returned to Rockliffe in good health.
“Players going away can worry you because you don’t know what they’re doing for two weeks. But Adama (Traore), (Mo) Besic and Dael (Fry) are all OK.” he told Boro’s website.
Long-term absentee Rudy Gestede is making good progress on his ankle injury, but is unlikely to feature again this season.
For Wolves, leading scorer Diogo Jota is also sidelined with an ankle injury he picked up in the win over Reading before the international break.
- Stan Cullis was manager the last time Wolves won at Middlesbrough – in April 1951. Boro are unbeaten in Wolves’ 25 subsequent visits – and have never lost to Wanderers at the Riverside Stadium.
- Having won 1-0 at home to Boro on the opening day of the season, Wolves are chasing a first league double over Boro at the 44th attempt.
- Boro’s Adama Traore has been involved in six goals in his last eight Championship matches (four goals, two assists).
- Wolves, who lost 4-1 at Villa in their last away game, have not suffered back-to-back away league defeats in over a year (at Burton and Reading).
- Boro boss Tony Pulis has ended on the winning side in each of his last four meetings with Wolves, in all competitions.