Bolton make the journey to Grim City in need of points, with difficult games coming afterward.
‘In the beginning, I just wanted to prove to everyone that I can score goals, but sometimes starting to think like that is the worst thing you can do at the football club, all of a sudden, your body starts to lock.
Now I have stopped thinking about it, and it feels much, much better – on the pitch and in training.`
£8.2 million signing Johan Elmander explains that he’s chilled out and politely neglects to mention that he won’t score when the Ginger One plays him on the left side of defence.
Middlesbrough Team News:
Emanuel Pogatetz and Mido are both fit and Jeremie Aliadiere has recovered from illness. Chris Riggot is out though.
Player to watch: Emanuel Pogatetz
Claims that he’s keen to resume hostilities with Kevin Davies. Silly, silly boy.
Bolton Team News:
Joey O’Brien has a thigh injury but Ebi Smolarek and Gretar Steinsson are expected to pass late fitness tests. Mustapha Riga should be available after being clogged by Manchester City’s Richard Dunne.
Man of the moment Ricardo Gardner may start on the bench after returning late from international duty.
Player to watch: Johan Elmander
Elmander looked a class act in the opening game against Stoke, but has struggled since. It’s time to start repaying that fee.
Match Facts & Stats
The match can’t be any more significant than last season’s encounter, when a mixture of poor ‘Boro finishing, inspired goal keeping from Ali Al Habsi and a scruffy goal from Gavin McCann gave Wanderers the three points and a step toward Premier League safety.
Middlesbrough are on a good run after being thumped by Chelsea, but given their erratic nature that makes an away victory likely.
The team won’t be staying in the North East though, it’s too depressing.