After a welcome start to Christmas for Bolton with that victory against Cardiff, Boxing Day sees a trip to Middlesbrough. It has been an interesting few days for Boro. Despite winning on Saturday, that night still saw the sacking of Garry Monk, with the view in that part of the world being that Boro have been a little disappointing this season. It means academy manager Craig Liddle will be the man in home dugout at the Riverside tomorrow. We`re not sure how this will work, as generally clubs sack their managers AFTER a disappointing result against us.
Nobody`s saying anything, because it`s Christmas. Merry Christmas.
Middlesbrough Team News:
It`s a clean bill of health from Boro, although with a different man in the dugout and the quick turnaround there could still be changes to the lineup.
Player to watch: Cyrus Christie
The right-back seems to have done better than most of the other signings Boro brought in over the summer. As well as his club form since signing from Derby, he has been getting an extended run for his country, starting for the Republic of Ireland while Seamus Coleman recovers from his broken leg.
Bolton Wanderers Team News:
Bolton don`t appear to have any new injury worries, so the potential is there for an unchanged team. Will they change it though?
Player to watch: David Wheater
Christmas is a time for those who spread their wings to come back home, and this will be the case if for Wheater tomorrow, as the centre-back returns to his former club.
Match Facts & Stats
The teams met back in September at the Macron. Adama Traore was the difference that afternoon as we were on the wrong end of a 3-0 scoreline.
3-0 was the score too when we last travelled to Teesside. That was back in 2015 in our opening away game of the 2015-16 season. It set the tone for our campaign.
We`ve lost our last five league games to Boro, with our last win at the Riverside coming in November 2008. Whatever happened to their manager that day, Gareth Southgate?
Britt Assombalonga has scored twice in each of his two games against us.
I`ll go for a 1-0 win for Boro, manager or not, I`ve no confidence in us winning away.
We end 2017 at Sheffield United on Saturday, before starting 2018 at home to Hull on New Year`s Day