On one hand, we have a team that have been unbeaten in last nine Premier League games while on the other, their opponents have won only one of the nine away games they played so far in this campaign. Quite naturally, this Manchester United vs Middlesbrough fixture should end up in an emphatic win for the home side.
Manchester United come to this game with four consecutive wins, after they had to settle for three back to back 1-1 draws earlier in the campaign. However, they are still reeling at the sixth spot in the table, 13 points shy of table toppers Chelsea. It is evident that Jose Mourinho’s men cannot afford any mistake at this moment, and they would be looking forward to come out victorious against the Boro.
Aitor Karanka, on the other hand, had to succumb to a narrow defeat against fellow strugglers Burnley in the last outing. They are now at the 15th spot and have won only two of their last eight league games. If they can manage a surprise win against the Red Devils, that will be a huge morale booster for Alvaro Negredo and co.
Manchester United vs Middlesbrough possible lineups:
Jose Mourinho will be happy to get Eric Bailly back in the squad. Long term absentee Luke Shaw may also come around before this fixture. Henrikh Mkhitaryan has also recovered from his recent injury and will be in contention for a place in the lineup. However, given the form of current players, the Portuguese boss might start with an unchanged squad. Following is our predicted lineup for the Middlesbrough clash.
The away side have only one injury worry. Defender Antonio Barragan is suspended for one match, and George Friend is the likely candidate to replace him in the starting lineup. Chances are high that Friend will play in the centre half while Callum Chambers will shift to the right back position. Christian Stuani has also not been in a great form and the gaffer might hand Stewart Downing a starting berth. The other players in the lineup that kicked off against Burnley should retain their places.
Key players: Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been involved in seven goals in last three matches (four goals and three assists). The team will depend on him once again. The visitors, on the other hand, will have to depend on Negredo’s genius to give them surprise breakthroughs. Victor Valdes will also be tested throughout the game against his former club. He should be pretty charged up to show his worth to United, a club that did not do justice to him after signing a couple of seasons ago.
Prediction: It should be a cakewalk for the Old Trafford side. We predict a 2-0 win for Manchester United.
Recent Premier League form (latest result first):
Manchester United: W-W-W-W-D-D
Middlesbrough FC: L-W-L-L-W-D
Manchester United vs Middlesbrough betting odds:
Manchester United: 2/9
Manchester United vs Middlesbrough TV guide:
The match will kick off at local time (8:30pm IST, 9am CST). It will not be telecast live in India or in the United Kingdom. But, you can get live streaming links from us – please send a message to our Facebook page for that. In the United States, NBCSN will broadcast it live.
Let us know your prediction for the Manchester United vs Middlesbrough game, in the comments below!
Photo by Ali F. Al-Saeed