Middlesbrough v Barnsley preview
Last Updated: 09/03/18 12:54pm
Middlesbrough boss Tony Pulis will make a late check on in-form striker Patrick Bamford ahead of Saturday's Sky Bet Championship clash with Barnsley.
Bamford, who scored his seventh goal in four games in Tuesday night's 1-0 win at Birmingham, was taken off as a precaution with 13 minutes remaining after complaining of tightness in his hamstring, and he will be assessed.
Midfielder Grant Leadbitter completes a two-match ban imposed for reaching 10 bookings for the season, although he is also nursing a hamstring problem. Striker Rudy Gestede is out for the season following ankle surgery, while full-back Fabio da Silva continues his recovery from a thigh problem.
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Barnsley defender Adam Jackson could return to action after missing Tuesday's 2-1 defeat at Cardiff under the concussion protocol. Jackson lost consciousness during the 1-1 draw at Hull a week earlier and is now free to resume.
Skipper Andy Yiadom was back in the starting line-up in south Wales after being used only as a substitute against the Tigers. Fellow defender Matt Mills has missed the last three games with an ankle problem as he closes in on a return.
Middlesbrough haven't won back to back home league matches against Barnsley since February 1984, beating them 3-1 last time out at the Riverside in April 2014.
The Tykes have never kept a clean sheet at the Riverside and are without one in their last eight trips to Middlesbrough in all competitions since a 1-0 win in April 1992.
Tony Pulis' last league meeting with Barnsley ended 3-3 in December 2007 when he was manager of Stoke - the Tykes took the lead three times but a hat-trick from Liam Lawrence gave Stoke a point.
Since his debut for the Tykes in February, Oliver McBurnie has scored five Championship goals - only Middlesbrough's Patrick Bamford has more in that time (7).
Indeed, Bamford has been responsible for seven of Middlesbrough's last nine Championship goals, including each of their last five.
Barnsley haven't won any of their 15 Championship matches against sides currently occupying the top 10 of the division (W0 D5 L10).
Middlesbrough are back in the top six and finally look to be heading in the right direction. They absolutely dismantled Leeds last Friday night and followed that up with a good win at Birmingham in midweek.
Barnsley are hovering above the relegation zone and it's hard to see how much improvement has been made under Jose Morais. This is a tough trip for them, and I cannot see them getting anything from it.
David Prutton predicts: 2-1 (15/2 with Sky Bet)