Can Boro Sting The Bees?
By Robert Nichols
Friday 16 Mar 2018 12:46:00
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Boro face a big test on Saturday. Can we overcome The Bees of Brentford to stay in 6th place at the international break?

Brentford might be back in 11th place and 8 points below us but they are always difficult opponents particularly on their own Griffin Park patch. A tight little ground, with a great partisan atmosphere it is never an easy place to go and get points. Having said that it has been a very happy hunting ground for Boro over the years. A win could be a very good omen because we beat The Bees four times in all in our last play off season.

A warning here, we were probably lucky to escape with a 2-2 draw at home to Brentford earlier in the season. Neither of our scorers that day, Braithwaite and Fabio, will be involved in the away game. Times have certainly moved on.

It is a whole new ball game now under Tony Pulis and we might expect Boro to deploy similar tactics that served Aitor so well against Brentford. We will look to get our noses ahead and then keep it tight and frustrate the home side to hopefully return with all the points and a play off position preserved again.

Boro look like being without Daniel Ayala and he will be a huge loss, a colossus and man of the match in our last away game at Birmingham. That away win was down to Ayala's defending as much as Bamford's poaching. Dael Fry is likely to come in but the other option is to shift Shotton across and start Martin Cranie who has been clocking up plenty of minutes on the pitch now as sub.

The second decision for Tony Pulis will be whether he disturbs the midfield that has brought us a couple of victories in the absence of suspended (and injured) skipper Grant Leadbitter. If Grant is fully fit to go then he will probably return to add that drive and leadership. That will be hard on whoever must step down, possibly Adam Clayton.

Boro will be looking to unleash potent weapon, Adama Traore. The road runner has been in devastating form of late, ripping through sides and providing an equally devastating final ball or scorching goal. The current EFL Championship Player of the Month he can do great damage to the home team in west London.

Patrick Bamford cannot stop scoring. His last two goals may not have been spectacular but it is the mark of a real goalscorer that you sniff out half opportunities and make the most of scraps, just ask Bernie Slaven. Bamford must also know that 11 league goals Britt Assombalonga is desperate for the opportunity to unseat him and return to his own goals trail. Big motivation for Patrick.

Brentford were rocked by defeat from promotion chasing Cardiff this week. They play exceptional passing football but they have been struggling for a cutting edge just lately. This has come at a bad time for a side that seemed poised to mount a real challenge to that final play off position that Boro have managed to grab a hold of. So, we must guard against giving them the opportunity to rediscover the goals touch. We must keep it very tight at the back and not allow them any half chances that they seized upon at the Riverside.

Let's defeat the Bees and keep on keeping on into the International Break.

Come On Boro and Up The Boro

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