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Match Preview – Middlesbrough FC vs Preston North End: Wilder seeks his first win as Boro manager

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Credit: boroofficial instagram

Middlesbrough welcome 16th place Preston North End to the Riverside on Tuesday evening knowing that a win could see them move into the top half of the Championship table. 

Following the 1-1 home draw with Millwall in Chris Wilder’s first game as manager, fans will be hoping Boro build on that performance to claim all 3 points against Preston tomorrow night. 

The visitors know a win could take them above the club from Teeside. 

Boro are winless their last 4 games (all-comps) as the gap between them and QPR in the play-off places has grown to six points.

However, Wilder was full of praise for his sides efforts on Saturday afternoon, acknowledging their hard-work as the former Sheffield United boss implemented a new style of play. 

Despite having 3 games in the space of a week which will be tough on the squad fitness, Middlesbrough have a great opportunity to gain some momentum going into the Christmas period and could fight their way up the table. 

The home side have taken 10 points from an available 15 in their last five games at the Riverside and are welcoming a visiting team with a questionable record on the road.

Credit: boroofficial instagram – Wilder’s first game at the Riverside

Despite, beating promotion hopefully Bournemouth a few weeks back, Preston have only one one in their last five away games.

Frankie McAvoy’s side have been in woeful form of late, winning just once in their previous ten matches in the Championship. The teams are just two places apart at the bottom of the league and will be hoping to transform their seasons, starting with a victory in the game tomorrow. It promises to be a feisty one. 

PNE are heading into their match on Teeside following a narrow defeat to strugglers Cardiff at the Deepdale Stadium. Having taken the lead in the 2nd minute courtesy of striker Sean Maguire, they were unable to hold out as The Bluebirds mounted a second half comeback with both goals coming within 20 minutes of the restart. 

Back-to-back setbacks against lesser teams, Cardiff and Nottingham Forest have left North End at the foot of the table in 16th spot. Despite losing just two of their nine home games this season, McAvoy’s squad have a terrible away record, collecting just six points in the same amount of fixtures. 

It’s hard to chose a winner between the two sides as their recent head-to-head record shows two victories each in their previous five meetings.

Boro eased to a 2-0 victory in this fixture last season and will be hoping for a similar result heading into Tuesday evening,

Team News

With his side hit by fatigue in the closing stages of their last game, Wilder may consider making changes to his starting eleven ahead of the important clash with Preston on Tuesday evening. 

Neil Taylor could feature at wing-back after his free transfer last week, while Onel Hernandez is also available and could make the starting eleven.

Dael Fry and Marcus Browne are still out injured and are not expected to be match-fit until 2022.

Duncan Watmore has been in poor form this season and may miss out. Ache Ikpeazu or Josh Coburn are both in contention to replace Watmore.

Preston may recall both Josh Earl and Daniel Johnson to their starting XI as players suffer with tiredness. Liam Linsday hasn’t featured since the start of October but will be hopeful to get some minutes at the Riverside. 

Ched Evans (calf) and Matthew Olosunda (Hamstring) are doubtful as the pair are yet to string together a run of games this campaign.

On-loan Cardiff City Winger Josh Murphy is out for a few weeks with an ankle injury as attacking midfielder Isaiah Brown is also set to miss out. Ex Sunderland Striker Conor Wickham is still unavailable following his hamstring injury sustained in the Carabao Cup fixture with Cheltenham Town.

With the list of names missing for the team from the North-West it looks to be a tough midweek fixture but as both sides have struggled for goals, this one is hard to call.

Form

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Potential Line-ups

BORO:                                                                                                          PNE:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pre-Match thoughts? Will Wilder claim his first win as Middlesbrough manager? Where can Boro finish this season?

Join in the conversation and have your say.

More to follow…

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Newcastle target rejects Everton move following £45m bid.

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Newcastle united - St James Park

Everton have made a £40million bid with £5m in add-ons to sign Connor Gallagher from Chelsea.

This comes after Newcastle completed the signing of Anthony Gordon, the club’s second most expensive transfer behind Alexander Isak.

Everton received an initial fee of £40m plus add-ons that could increase the deal to £45m.

The Toffees currently sit 19th in the Premier League and are looking to reinvest the money from the Gordon deal to sign much-needed players under newly appointed manager Sean Dyche. 

But, multiple sources have reported today that Gallagher is not actively pushing for a move and has no intention of going to Goodison Park. However, with Chelsea having met the record-breaking €120m release clause for World Cup winner Enzo Fernandez, Gallagher may be forced to leave the club if the transfer is complete.

This leaves Newcastle an option as the player would prefer a move to a top-six club.

This morning, Eddie Howe said, “We’ll see what we can do to try & bring a player in. There’s no guarantees. In terms of permanent signings, it will be very difficult. We’ll look at a potential loan. But it’s got to be the right player & not one for the sake of it”.

Due to financial fair play, the only way Newcastle could sign the player is through a loan, with an obligation to buy the player for at least £45m, the same price they paid for Anthony Gordon.

Gallagher has been playing regular Premier League football over the last two seasons. Since returning to his parent club Chelsea, the 22-year-old has been linked with a move away to numerous Premier League clubs.

Last season he was named Crystal Palace’s Player of the Season by their fans. He also won the Player of the Month award twice, Goal of the Month once, and was awarded the Young Player of Year at the 2022 London Football Awards.

In the same season, he made 36 appearances scoring eight goals and registering three assists that earned Palace a 12th-place finish, one point behind Newcastle.

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Transfer News: Newcastle Sign Everton Winger Anthony Gordon In 45m Deal

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Newcastle agree deal for Gordon

Newcastle United have agreed to sign Everton winger Anthony Gordon for an initial fee of £40,000,000, which could rise to £45,000,000 with add-ons

Sky Sports understands that personal terms between Newcastle United and Gordan’s representatives are still ongoing, but both parties are confident of reaching an agreement.

The Magpies’ were interested in bringing Gordon to St James’ Park in the summer. However, both clubs were far apart on valuations for the player.

The 21-year-old has failed to attend training at Finch Farm for the last three days after making it clear he wants to move away from Goodison Park.

Chelsea were interested in bringing Gordon to Stamford Bridge in the summer and were willing to pay up to £60,000,000 for the wide-man’s services. However, Everton were reluctant to let their talisman leave before the start of the 2022/2023 Premier League season.

Gordon has scored just 3 goals in 16 Premier League appearances (12 starts) this season for the struggling Toffees, who currently sit second bottom of the table.

That said, the former Preston North End loanee had his best campaign last season, playing a major part in Everton’s Premier League survival.

The Everton academy graduate had 6 goal involvements in 35 Premier League games (25 starts) last season, which was the first season he had a consistent run of games.

It’s clear that Gordon has a significant amount of potential, and with Eddie Howe at the helm, Newcastle could be getting a very exciting player.

We have seen an unbelievable transformation in many players’ performances since Eddie Howe took charge in November 2021, with the most obvious transformation being Joelinton’s positional change.

The Liverpool-born winger can play in several forward positions, which is the type of player Eddie Howe has been keen to add during the January window, especially after Chris Wood’s loan departure to Nottingham Forest.

Joelinton is currently being deployed as a left-winger, with Allan Saint-Maximin in the process of regaining match fitness.

The addition of Gordon could see Joelinton be moved back to his preferred position as a box-to-box midfielder. This would see one of Sean Longstaff or Joe Willock drop out of the eleven, with Bruno Guimarães making that number 6 role untouchable.

Four days remain of the January transfer window, and it is yet to be seen if Anthony Gordon is the only player The Toon are adding to their ranks.

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Who’s place in the squad will he take?

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Gary Lineker shocked as ‘adult noices played on BBC Live on air!

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Gary Lineker - BBC one Live
Credit: BBC

Viewers on Tuesday night prior to the FA cup football games were left shocked and confused as noises of an adult nature were played in the BBC studio – Live on air!

 

Gary Lineker reacted fast to try to address and cover up the noise before going live to Alan Shearer.

 

See the clip below…

 

 

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