Prediction Aston Villa – Middlesbrough Championship
The Villains receive Middlesbrough in Villa Park in the return leg of the first promotion round of the Championship, the second English competition. The Aston Villa comes to get ahead in the first game (0-1) and wants to assert that advantage to get into the final. The players of the legend of Manchester United, former international central Steve Bruce, have taken very seriously trying to raise after losing the category last season.
The Birmingham team finished the season in 4th place, adding 83 points in the 46 matches of the Championship, with a balance of 24 wins, 11 draws and 11 losses. After being penultimate on the second day, the Villains came back to 5th place in just 10 days. They would never go down from 8th place (day 25), becoming second (which gave them direct access) on day 31. Since then they have always been occupying the third or fourth position, coming in good time to these playoffs of promotion.
Lewis Grabban, with 20 goals in 35 games, is the top scorer of the team ahead of Albert Adomah (14 goals in 40 games) and Conor Hourihane (with 11 goals in 42 games).
Neil Taylor and Axel Tuanzebe are out injured for this game, while Ahmed El Mohamady is doubtful.
Eleven Probable: Johnstone – Bjarnason, Chester, John Terry, Hutton – Jedinak – Snodgrass, Hourihane, Grealish, Adomah – Grabban.
Middlesbrough paid his lack of goal in the first leg and now must at least score a goal to force extra time. The Boro finished 5th in the Championship, adding 76 points in 46 days, with a balance of 22 wins, 10 draws and 14 losses.
Tony Pulis took over the team after leaving West Bromwich mid-season. The veteran Welsh coach has given another rhythm to a side that two years ago dominated the league with Aitor Karanka but, after a bad year in the Premier League, he had to reinvent himself last summer.
Forwards Britt Assombalonga (15 goals in 45 games) and Patrick Bamford (11 goals are the top scorers of a team that got into the playoffs from the 36th day, getting somewhat tired to this tie, as could be seen in the first leg
The French striker Rudy Gestede is down for the match, seriously injured in February, and the Spaniard Daniel Ayala is doubtful.
Eleven Probable: Randolph – Friend, Fry, Gibson, Shotton – Besic, Howson, Clayton – Downing, Traoré, Bamford.
In the last 31 meetings, Villa dominates with 14 wins and 9 draws, with 8 victories Boro. The last two clashes between the two, always played in the Boro field, were won by Aston Villa 1-0. Interestingly, in the last 5 games, on 4 occasions the visiting team won, a fact that gives some hope to visitors.
In the last four games, one of the two teams was left unmarked and in the last two played at Villa Park, the locals did not score. All said, the favorite to pass is Aston Villa, for more experience, for playing at home and for having a player like John Terry who is being the leader needed by Birmingham. The forecast is that again, at least one of the two teams will not score.
Prediction of the Day: Both Teams to Score