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Dec 2, 2020 at 7pm UK
SwanseaSwansea City
Watmore (26', 67')
Johnson (45'), Akpom (57')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Dhanda (78')
Fulton (45+1'), Grimes (85')

Preview: Middlesbrough vs. Swansea City - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Middlesbrough vs. Swansea City - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Wednesday's Championship clash between Middlesbrough and Swansea City, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Fourth-placed Swansea City face Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium on Wednesday evening looking to extend their unbeaten record to four matches.

Meanwhile, the home side have lost two of their last three matches, results which have led to the North-East outfit dropping down to 10th position in the Championship standings.

Match preview

For large parts of the early months of this season, Middlesbrough fans have been left pleasantly surprised by the club's improvement under Neil Warnock.

However, while still sitting in 10th position with the second-best defensive record in the division, a run of one win from five matches has changed the mood at the Riverside Stadium.

Saturday's fixture at Huddersfield Town was an opportunity to keep the positive results ticking over after the previous 3-0 triumph over Derby County.

The North-West outfit were well off the pace at the back, however, as they conceded a third of their goals for the season during the defeat at the John Smith's Stadium.

Now sitting three points adrift of the playoffs ahead of a clash with one of their promotion rivals, Warnock knows that a disciplined display must be produced on Wednesday evening.

Swansea have sometimes struggled for a cutting edge under Steve Cooper with only the loan spell of Rhian Brewster last season resulting in stronger showings in the final third.

Nevertheless, the Welsh team sit just two points off top spot after 14 matches, their latest victory coming by a 1-0 scoreline at Nottingham Forest.

With just 16 goals being recorded in the final third, Cooper will be the first to admit that his players are guilty of not showing a ruthless streak since the beginning of September.

That said, there will be no plans to change their approach to games, continuing to rely on a backline which has shipped just eight goals.

While Middlesbrough hold one of the best points haul at home this season, Swansea have claimed 12 points from their seven away fixtures.

Middlesbrough Championship form: WDDLWL

Swansea City Championship form: WDLWDW

Team News

Cooper will want to manage the fitness of his Swansea players, and that may lead to a couple of alterations to the team which started at the City Ground.

Ben Cabango and Yan Dhanda could both be brought into the first XI, potentially at the expense of Kyle Naughton and Jay Fulton.

Warnock may hand a recall to fit-again Duncan Watmore, who dropped down to the substitutes' bench for the game against Huddersfield.

Chuba Akpom is an alternative to Britt Assombalonga, while Patrick Roberts could be brought back into the side.

Middlesbrough possible starting lineup:
Bettinelli; Djiksteel, McNair, Fry, Bola; Tavernier, Howson, Saville; Watmore, Akpom, Johnson

Swansea City possible starting lineup:
Woodman; Cabango, Bennett, Guehi; Roberts, Smith, Grimes, Bidwell; Dhanda; Lowe, Ayew

We say: Middlesbrough 1-1 Swansea City

Neither side have found the ideal balance between defence and attack this season, and that could lead to a low-scoring draw being played out here. Given their recent form and workload, it is a result which both sides would be prepared to accept at this stage of the season.

Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home/Away:data

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