Crunch Day at the Hawthorns
By fmttm
Saturday 17 Apr 2010 11:38:00
Browse all Match Previews articles



Boro must beat promoted West Brom at the Hawthorns to keep our play off hopes alive. It would also be sweet revenge for a 0-5 hammer blow at the Riverside earlier this season that largely got Gareth Southgate the sack and caused a complete re-think and re-fit of Middlesbrough mid-season.


This is not going to be easy no doubt about that. Probably our two best players this season will not be representing us today as we bid to topple the team celebrating promotion back to the Premier League. Adam Johnson is of course tilting at the England World Cup squad with Man City. Gary O’Neil is still here, just we cannot afford to pay him. Ironic really that if Adam Johnson should play for England we would pick up £1m and that is the sum we would have to pay Pompey administrators to field GON.


West Brom only have the slimmest of mathematical chances to win the Championship title, let’s hope they switch off today. It is massively disappointing that both the other Prem relegated clubs have used their parachute money to good effect and are bouncing back at the first opportunity. We somehow need to do the impossible now and pull up all the trees we can to clamber into the play off mix. A win today would make things interesting. We’d then need to see cracks elsewhere but with the way Swansea are falling at the moment anything is possible.


It has been pleasing to see us convert the draws into wins in the last two games. Whatever the outcome of the season it would be a mini triumph to finish the campaign with 3 more wins. Something to really build on for 2010-2011. That means reserving the best until almost last. All season long we have failed to do the business when pitched against the teams above us today we need to right that wrong.


WBA have cemented their place as the country’s no.1 yo yo club. Roberto Di Matteo has come in and expertly picked up the baton from Tony Mowbray. The Baggies didn’t lose too many players on being relegated, captain Jonathan Greening was amongst the more notable departures and they always looked well-equipped to bounce back at the first attempt. At the Riverside they shocked us by capitalising on an early lucky deflected goal to absolutely rip our season apart. We need to smell revenge today.


This is it now for us. Right down to the wire. We cannot afford any more slip ups from here on in. We must spoil the party at a no-doubt bouncing Hawthorns and outfight the Baggies to retrieve all the points. We haven’t found goals easy to come by of late but Scott McDonald is starting to find fitness and form. Lita has looked dangerous on our travels as well and his very direct style could pay some dividends.


It should be a nail biting affair. Boro fans everywhere switch off your BBC tv and get on down to the West Midlands and roar on the team to our biggest win of the entire campaign. We can still achieve something but it has to be victory today.


Come on Boro


Fmttm Prediction: Boro to edge this decisive game 2-1.


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