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Middlesbrough vs Hull City Preview

Match Preview
Hull City

By Tom Coates

Middlesbrough vs Hull City Preview

A pair of ambitious managers, depleted squads and 2-0 losses last weekend sees Middlesbrough host Hull City this week in fairly similar circumstances.

Both sitting within touching distance of the playoff places, Boro and their opponents operate within the middle pack chasing that lucrative sixth place. With just three points separating sixth and thirteenth, either side could end the night at the top of the pile.

The Tigers make the trip north following a disappointing result away to QPR last weekend. Liam Rosenior's fiftieth game at the helm ended in defeat as his side suffered back-to-back league losses for the first time since the 39-year-old took over in late 2022. The 2-0 loss in West London also saw Starman Jaden Philogene limp off the field, rubbing salt into what was an already miserable afternoon in the capital.

Middlesbrough mirrored their opposition's result with a defeat at the hands of high-flying Ipswich Town. Whilst few sides have managed to come close to Kieran McKenna's men this season, that does not mean that the result was well received by the Boro faithful.

A draw will likely not be satisfactory for either side with both eager to bounce back on Wednesday night and make their case as genuine playoff candidates come the end of the season.

The Opposition

As is traditional for sides that fall agonisingly short of the promised land, the spine that carried Middlesbrough to a fourth placed finish last campaign was swiftly picked apart by a cocktail of expiring loans and transfer offers too good to refuse.

Two of the hardest hitting departures were that of Chuba Akpom and Cameron Archer who combined for an impressive 39 goals last season. Whilst summer arrivals Sam Greenwood and Emmanuel Latte Lath have shown glimpses of quality with four goals each, it is a tall order to reproduce the output of such an effective duo.

After a poor start to the season kicked off with three consecutive losses, Michael Carrick once again had to dig Middlesbrough out of a hole. However, after pulling Boro out of danger and into the playoffs last season, it was not long before the 42-year-old worked his magic again and got his side back on track.

With statement victories over Leicester and Sunderland, Boro have shown that they are not a million miles away from the side that came so close to promotion last season. With three losses in their last four games, Middlesbrough will be desperate to get back to winning ways and view Wednesday night as the perfect opportunity to do so.

Team News


As if Michael Carrick's list of absentees was not long enough, Middlesbrough went into the Ipswich tie without first team regulars, Anfernee Dijksteel and Isaiah Jones as a result of suspensions. Thankfully for the Boro boss, the visit of Hull sees the duo return however, he will still be without the nine first team players who missed last Saturday.

Most significant of the absentees are midfielders Hayden Hackney and Riley McGree. Whilst Carrick reported that Hackney should be "back before Christmas", the Boro boss conceded that McGree's ongoing foot problem means that his return is "notoriously difficult to predict time-wise".

Whilst Middlesbrough have managed to make it through the weekend unscathed, Carrick will still be left with slim pickings going into Wednesday night.

Hull City

The collective heart rate of Hull rose dramatically after a tweaked knee ligament brought Jaden Philogene's afternoon at Loftus Road to a premature end. The 21-year-old has been electric since arriving from Aston Villa, producing eleven goal contributions in just fourteen appearances in black amber.

Following a scan on Monday, it was confirmed that Philogene will be out of action for Wednesday's visit to The Riverside, adding to The Tiger's lack of depth in wide areas. Jason Lokilo and Dogukan Sinik who would've been likely replacements for Philogene have both been ruled unavailable owing to ongoing issues.

Alfie Jones is expected to return to the side after welcoming a new baby this weekend. The 26-year-old was sorely missed in the loss to QPR and will be a welcomed reinforcement in the heart of the defence.

Also in contention for Wednesday is Ruben Vinagre, who returns to the fold after almost a month on the sidelines. In the absence of The Tigers' traditional wingers, the left back may be in line for a more offensive role for the Middlesbrough clash.

Predicted Lineups


Dieng; Bangura, Fry, van den Berg, Dijksteel; Howson, Barlaser, Greenwood, Jones; Crooks, Latte Lath.


Hull City

Allsop; Coyle, Greaves, Jones, Christie; Seri, Morton, Vaughan, Slater; Twine, Delap.


Key Players

Isaiah Jones

To say that Middlesbrough missed Isaiah Jones last weekend would be an understatement. The 24-year-old's fifth yellow card of the season came just one game before the amnesty meaning he had to watch from the sidelines as his side lost to Ipswich.

It only takes one look at Boro's statistics for this season to see why they rely so heavily on Jones. As it stands, the winger leads his side for goals, touches, successful take-ons, and tackles won among several other metrics. Whether it is in the final third or his own box, Jones is the catalyst for just about everything at Middlesbrough.

The visit of Hull will see Jones return to action, presumably with a chip on his shoulder after watching his side falter in his absence. Returning to the team, the wide man will be desperate to come back with a bang and make sure his side get all three points.

A right winger by trade, there is no doubt that Jones has looked at Hull's instability at left back and rubbed his hands in excitement. An out of position Lewie Coyle has been Liam Rosenior's preferred option in recent weeks however, Jacob Greaves may be better suited for this occasion.

Regardless of whether it's a right footer on his weaker side or a centre back struggling to keep up, there is no doubt that Isaiah Jones will be the one to watch out for on Wednesday night.

Regan Slater

A central midfielder by trade but certainly not restricted to it, Regan Slater is the kind of player a manager relishes; willing to adapt their game or change position without ever letting their performance levels drop.

Slater often feels something of a shapeshifter, able to mimic the playstyle of the person he is filling in for and rarely putting a foot wrong. In the absence of a recognised striker in a trip to Cardiff last season, the 24-year-old stepped up, scoring twice to secure all three points for his side.

Saturday afternoon saw Slater replace Philogene and take on the bulk of the creative load in the winger's absence. In a little over forty minutes of action, the Englishman managed 36 touches and 33 passes, a tally greater than any of The Tiger's front four had managed during the entire game.

Likely to be taking up an attacking role on Wednesday night, Slater will be looking to add to his two goals scored already this campaign and once again prove why he is one of Liam Rosenior's most valuable assets.

Award held by John and Nathaniel
Football Content Awards, 2022

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