Warnock has his work cut out to keep Boro in the division as they are one place above the dropzone, though just two points behind 18th-place opponents Stoke.
Seven months after leaving his position as Cardiff City manager, Warnock has once again come out of retirement to steer Middlesbrough clear of the relegation zone.
Achieve that aim and Warnock will surely go for a record-breaking fifth promotion to the top flight, something that he last achieved with Cardiff in 2018.
There is no doubt that the Yorkshireman is the perfect manager for the Smoggies, but there is every chance that he has been given too much to do by predecessor Woodgate.
A disastrous first campaign in management for Woodgate was brought to an end on Tuesday, though he could easily have been sacked well before the three-month hiatus.
Boro were on a 12-match winless run prior to beating Charlton Athletic 1-0 in their last match before lockdown, a result that perhaps explains the board's decision to stick with Woodgate for a little while longer.
It is now one win in 14 games and the Smoggies are only out of the bottom three on goal difference, level on points as they are with Hull City.
Given the incredibly tight nature of the bottom three, though, a win this weekend would see them leapfrog opponents Stoke and climb as high as 17th.
Stoke have themselves struggled this season, though they have at least become tough to beat either side of the coronavirus-enforced break.
The Potters, who had aspirations of challenging for promotion this term, are unbeaten in five games and showed their fighting spirit in last Saturday's 1-1 draw at Reading.
Stoke have also lost just one of their last nine home Championship matches, winning six of those, and three more points on Saturday will give them a healthy five-point margin on the relegation zone.
Michael O'Neill's men lost 2-1 in December's reverse fixture, though, and Boro are aiming to complete a league double over their opponents for the first time since 1960.
Stoke City's Championship form: LWDDWD
Middlesbrough's Championship form: LLLDWL
O'Neill is unlikely to make mass changes to his side, but Sam Vokes returning up top is a possible option for the visit of low-scoring Middlesbrough.
Assombalonga was left out for what proved to be Woodgate's final match - a 3-0 home loss to Swansea City - but both he and Ashley Fletcher are in line for recalls this weekend.
Daniel Ayala will play no further part this season, however, as he is out of contract next week and does not intend to sign a short-term extension.
Stoke City possible starting lineup:
Butland; Smith, Chester, Batth, Martins Indi; Powell, Clucas, Thompson; Ince, Vokes, Campbell
Middlesbrough possible starting lineup:
Stojanovic; Howson, Fry, Shotton, Friend; Wing, Clayton, McNair; Fletcher, Assombalonga, Coulson
We say: Stoke City 0-0 Middlesbrough
Both teams remain at serious risk of relegation heading into the final straight of the elongated campaign. Stoke have only lost one of their last 15 home league meetings with Middlesbrough, that coming in 1998, and we are tipping them to extend that run this weekend with a stalemate that will help neither side.
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