By Daniel Wood – KLTV Contributor
Huddersfield Town will host Middlesbrough at the John Smith’s Stadium in the SkyBet Championship on Saturday 28th November, 3 pm KO.
The Terriers are currently 16th in the Championship. They are six points ahead of the bottom three and eight points behind the play-off places.
Last time out, Town drew 0-0 with Wycombe Wanderers. Once again they had more possession in the game, but could not generate that into a win.
They are now four games without a win in the division, drawing two and losing two. They have not won a game since 31st October when they impressed with a 3-0 win away to Millwall.
If they do not win against Middlesbrough, it will be their fifth game without a win. They have not gone that many games without a win since November 2019.
The Terriers were without Tommy Elphick (knee) in their last outing against Wycombe Wanderers.
‘Boro’ currently sit 7th in the Championship and they are just two points off the play-off places.
Last time out, they won 3-0 against bottom of the Championship Derby County. Before that, they were winless in three games, drawing two and losing one.
They finished 17th in the Championship last season, one place above the Terriers. Boro fans are hoping for a much better league position this season.
Their manager, Neil Warnock, is very experienced, having managed a total of 16 different teams in his career, all of them being English clubs.
He currently holds the record for the most promotions in English football, with eight. His last team promoted was Cardiff City in 2017, who he guided to the Premier League.
Warnock has a 43.5%-win rate at Middlesbrough, which is higher than his overall average of 40.23% and his highest ever win rate with any club (when he has been permanent manager).
He has managed over 1,500 games in total. An achievement that not many managers hold.
Ones to Watch
The 32-year old has played every minute of SkyBet Championship football for Boro this season. He recently signed a new contract, keeping him at the club until 2022, and Neil Warnock has described him as ‘the best midfielder in the league at the moment’. Howson played as a centre back and right back last season but has returned to his forte in the centre of midfield.
The Northern Ireland international has appeared in every league game for Boro this season in centre midfield. He is currently the top goal scorer for Boro this season with two goals and leads the assist charts with three. Middlesbrough’s pressing game has been praised by local media and Saville has been at the forefront of that praise.
The summer recruit has started in every XI of the season. He has an impressive six clean sheets out of 11 games so far this season, which is more than any other goalkeeper. Bettinelli is currently on loan from Fulham and already established himself as Boro’s no.1. If his form continues, Boro are not likely to concede many goals.
Since their first meeting in 1920, Middlesbrough has come out on top on the most occasions. Boro won 42 times, there have been 20 draws and Town have won 32 times.
Last time the played, Boro won 1-0 at home. The Terriers have not beaten Boro in their last eight attempts with their last win coming against them in March 2013. That is their only win against Boro since 1986. During that time, Boro have won 12 times, there have been three draws and Town have won just once.
Middlesbrough comes into this game in better form having only lost one of their last five games, whereas the Terriers have won only once in the same amount.
While Town are overdue a win against Middlesbrough and in the Championship, I can’t see them getting a positive result against Boro who have only conceded six goals in 13 league games.
Despite Town dominating possession in most of their games this season, they appear to lack the killing blow and this will cost them against a well worked team like Middlesbrough.
Unfortunately for Town, it might be a fifth consecutive game without a win, if that happens, they will have failed to win for the entirety of two Novembers in a row (2019 and 2020).