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Stoke v Boro
 

Stoke v Boro

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Original Fat Bob
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Stoke v Boro Wednesday 17/08/22 .k.o. 19:45 Bet 365 Stadium

 

Boro come into this game in 19th place in the league, with only two points from their season so far. This is based on their results of drawing with West Brom and Sheffield United, so they will be aiming to turn their fortunes around at the Bet365 Stadium on Wednesday evening.

 

We all knew that this summer was always going to need a big shake up, to get the squad more balanced and in the shape that Wilder needed. Boro have been highly active and have already brought eight players in this summer, but our manager has stated that he needs four more. With a little over two weeks to go in the transfer window, Wilder would still like to add a left-sided centre-back, a central midfielder and two centre forwards.

 

The Boro recent performance against Sheffield United like at Loftus Road a week ago was slow and lethargic. Is is because of the hot weather? But looking  back even last season it usually took Boro a long time to get going. On Saturday they started in a nervy and sloppy manner and It took them around ten minutes to really get going, and by that point they were already 1-0 down. Again at QPR what was of particular concern to me in a really disappointing first half, was that after conceding the first goal they appeared to stop playing completely and within the next 25 minutes the 1-0 became 3-0.  Wilder and the coaching staff will have to find a way to get out off the blocks quickly or teams will use this apparent trait we have, against us and turn it into a strategy to acquire early domination of games.

 

One interesting stat to note regarding individual Boro player performances:

 

Most shots from open play in the Championship...

 

▪️12  Josh Bowler (Blackpool)

▪️10  Joel Piroe (Swansea)

▪️  9  Troy Parrott (Preston)

▪️  8  Chuba Akpom (BORO)

 

Could it be that we now have a striker who is determined to score goals and actually has a go at hitting the ball towards the onion bag?

 

I still have concerns in our goalkeeping department and our defence looks very shaky at times. It takes time for teams to gel and form an understanding and hopefully hard work on the training ground will prove beneficial in games to be played.

 

Turning to our opponents Stoke City, a team who are currently in 16 th place, they are a typical Championship club who are no different to Middlesbrough and the other teams in this division who  remain busy behind the scenes, scrambling and working the increasingly frenetic transfer scene.

 

As a team, their results in the championship calendar year of 2022 have been poor, with eight wins and 12 defeats so far.

 

The Potters have earned three points from their opening three games of the season so far.

Those points came from a 2-0 victory over Blackpool in the second fixture, with losses to Millwall and Huddersfield Town bookending their current run of form.

 

Whilst our manager Chris Wilder will be hoping to gain a first win this season for the Boro, Stoke’s Michael O’Neill will be hoping his side can recover from last weekend’s defeat to the Terriers with an improved performance in front of their home support.

 

 

In the transfer front, the Potters are among the clubs with a serious interest in Manchester City forward Liam Delap.

 

Like the Boro recruitment staff, they too have also been targeting a left-sided centre-half.

 

With three loans already in the Stoke building and a maximum of five allowed in a match day squad, their manager O'Neill will have to cut his transfer strategy cloth accordingly. O’Neill has however, made a move for versatile Brentford player Tariqe Fosu. and has signed the 26-year-old right wing-back on a season long loan. Stoke were particularly vulnerable in that position  following a shin injury to Harry Clarke on Saturday. Tom Sparrow stepped up for that position for Stoke against Huddersfield at the weekend. Fosu has mostly played on the left wing but has also been used at wing-back, and at right-back, for club and Ghana. He has also played as an attacking midfielder, second striker and on the right wing.

http://mirror.co.u k">15442291881550301142.jpg

In terms of a left forward, Tyrese Campbell has primarily been needed when Stoke have used that role either in pre-season or switched during their opening games - but he has had more success on the right, where Jacob Brown has been preferred up to now. But it was at right wing-back that Stoke were particularly vulnerable at the moment following the shin injury to Harry Clarke. As stated previously, Tom Sparrow stepped up for that position against Huddersfield at the weekend and the signing of Fosu should solve that problem for them.

Fosu joined Brentford from Oxford in 2020 and played a starring role as they won promotion to the Premier League. His game time was then limited by injury and there was talk of a loan in January before he was linked with Strasbourg in the spring.

 

It would be fair to say there was frustration and near-anger in the away end as Stoke were left cursing a match slipping through their fingers at Huddersfield.

Stoke should have been ahead thanks to a penalty mid-way through the first half, then should have been further ahead soon after pulling level only for a Dwight Gayle ( who?)header to be disallowed for the tightest - and as O Neil insisted, wrong - offside call. But defensive slips instead condemned them to a 3-1 defeat and that was added to similar disappointments still bubbling from the second half of last season.

 

There are two big selection dilemmas facing the Potters boss going into Wednesday night. The first of which surrounds young defender Tom Sparrow, who started the defeat to Huddersfield at the weekend.

While he may remain in the team, another option could be to move Ben Wilmot out wide and to bring Phil Jagielka into the side, however an unchanged backline is more likely. Secondly, Tyrese Campbell will likely come back into the starting lineup alongside either Jacob Brown or Dwight Gayle.

Despite Brown having got off the mark with a goal and Gayle still yet to find the back of the net this season, O’Neill is more likely to opt for the big name experienced striker in the former Newcastle United man.

 

This is a game waiting to be won by Boro and if Wilder can set the defence up right to counter the attacking threat of Dwight Gayle we can come away with three points.

 

So come on you Foam handed Diasborians who’s joining me in a forecast for a 0-2 win for the mighty Boro ???

 

OFB

 

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exmil
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OFB thanks for another great opener and NewsNow agree with your assessment of Stokes selection dilemma, as for Boro it will depend on whether Akpom has recovered from his “knock” against QPR, Crooks recovering from illness and does Mowatt start, which ever choices are made there will be a little bit of quality on the bench. With just over two weeks of the transfer window left (hurray) there is optimism from Wilder that another 4 bodies will come through the door but no hint of anyone else leaving yet.

Come on BORO.


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exmil
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Reports are surfacing that Boro are making an approach for Preston’s striker Emil Riis but the report also states that Preston would want £10m for, so the question to members of diasboro, is who would they prefer Boro to spend £10m on Riis or Larsen (£9m was last bid but £10m is close to Groningen’s required figure), the choice is yours.

Come on BORO.


Powmill-Naemore
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Posted by: @exmil

Reports are surfacing that Boro are making an approach for Preston’s striker Emil Riis but the report also states that Preston would want £10m for, so the question to members of diasboro, is who would they prefer Boro to spend £10m on Riis or Larsen (£9m was last bid but £10m is close to Groningen’s required figure), the choice is yours.

Come on BORO.

It could be a case of bluff and counter blufff...... If Groningen believe we are taking out wallet elsewhere they may choose to come back to Boro at the lower valuation ..

I've no idea, but it is all a big game this transfer malarkey isn't it.


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K P in Spain
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Thanks OFB for a interesting and informative pre match opener.

Whilst a much needed win is required and preferable, we cannot afford to lose either as we are already behind the curve.  I just hope the Gayle saga does not come back to bite us.

I am going for a 1-0 to Stoke on the basis none of my predictions have been correct so far in the hope we get something and ideally 3 points. 😎

This post was modified 2 months ago by K P in Spain

Pedro de Espana
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Great informative post OFB and thanks for the time taken putting it together.

Again no predictions from me, just hoping we start to turn up from the off and not after the opposition score.

I assume that Akpom may miss the game, especially as we don’t want him out for any length of time. Not sure if that is the case, then as suggested McGree may play alongside Forss.

Going back to deleriad’s post in the other thread, I think we will continue to struggle both scoring goals and conceding goals until unless we can bring in an upgrade to what we have now in midfield.

We lack physical presence, pace and the ability to control the opposition numbers. I still believe that as much as he puts in a shift in a professional manner, Howson is yesterdays man in terms of what we need in that defensive position. This impacts greatly as we saw in the second half of last season and in the games to date this season.

It is arguably the most important position and filling it may be beyond our financial capability. If we continue as we are the defence will continue to struggle trying to cover the holes in the middle. 


Powmill-Naemore
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Thanks for starting the Stoke thread Bob. Well researched and to my reading it is a little worrying. Stoke read like they might be ready for us and we might struggle. 

If our new goal machine is fit to play, I will pitch a 2-1 win for Boro. If he is not in the match day squad I might side with KP and go 1-0 to the potters.


Original Fat Bob
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jarkko
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Posted by: @exmil

Reports are surfacing that Boro are making an approach for Preston’s striker Emil Riis but the report also states that Preston would want £10m for, so the question to members of diasboro, is who would they prefer Boro to spend £10m on Riis or Larsen (£9m was last bid but £10m is close to Groningen’s required figure), the choice is yours.

Come on BORO.

What do our Lancashire branch think about Riis?

He scored 20 goals last season but none yet this season. He came on from the bench in their latest match. Any good for Boro, then?

https://www.lancs.live/sport/football/transfer-news/preston-middlesbrough-transfer-news-riis-24774893

Up the Boro!


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jarkko
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Boro are monitoring Union SG midfielder Teddy Teuma.

The 28-year-old was key in helping Union SG to a second-placed finish in the Belgian First Division A in just their first season after being promoted. He played 40 games in all competitions last time out, scoring seven goals and registering nine assists.

The Malta international can play anywhere across midfield; as a holding midfielder, a number eight or even more advanced, and could be a vital addition to our squad. He is a left-footed midfielder. 

We have not replaced Payero or do not have cover for Howson. Up the Boro!

This post was modified 2 months ago 2 times by jarkko

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Original Fat Bob
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Original Fat Bob
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Liked by Malcolm
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John Richardson
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Good work OFB, thank you.

Let's all hope we get to chalk a first win up on the board. Somehow Boro's games have to stop being a 'Curate's Egg' as they seem to have been in all three games played so far.

Is it concentration coupled with the team not quite gelling yet? Personally I don't care how we get the first win, rebound, deflection, own goal, outrageous fluke or even all four would would do nicely. Let's not be greedy two of those four would do nicely but I'm not making any predictions, it's all tea bags now and the goose is relived.

UTB,

John


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Ken Smith
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History shows that Stoke on Trent is one of the most unwelcoming of cities weatherwise, yet I’ve spent many times there admittedly in the summer visiting friends sadly now deceased, and must have been lucky. It’s bang in the middle of the country and therefore noted for earth tremors. I recall that the old Victoria Ground especially was open to the elements, and in January 1976 storm damage caused Boro’s match to be transferred to Vale Park and Boro lost there too as was the norm for Boro’s encounters in the Potteries. l know that the top clubs hated playing in the city especially when Tony Pulis was their manager. There shouldn’t be much wind there tonight though although occasional rain. 

Nevertheless Boro have won only twice there in the last 18 visits, so possibly a goalless draw as in last year’s fixture is the best we can hope for tonight.

This post was modified 2 months ago by Ken Smith

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Stircrazy
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The starting XI:

Image


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David in Cumbria
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Thanks for the starter OFB. I haven't got my Foam Hands as our start to the season has made me even more nervous than normal so I need access to bite my fingernails. It will just be Radio Tees again but I  expect to open a bottle of Malbec this evening though I'm hoping to keep 1/2 for the next worrying game on Saturday. It feels like we have "must win" games already.

I will be glad when the transfer deadline passes and we know the squad that are going to see us through the season rather than desperately looking for news of the big signings we were told would come. Just seen the team for today. Akpom is not there. McGree up front with Watmore? 0 - 0 may be a good result as it would be an improvement for our defence but we really need to start winning.


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werdermouth
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Team News...

Akpom is injured and misses out and Fry also on the bench but Mowatt starts - it looks like a back three of Dijksteel, Lenihan and Bola with probably McNair in midfield with Howson and Mowatt - which means McGree probably playing as a number ten with Watmore the lone striker.

Image


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Forever Dormo
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Good evening, folks.  Apologies but I don't think I have contributed to this Blog so far, this season.  I have been away for a month on the Northumberland Coast on "holiday", returning on Sunday but too late to go to the Boro's last game.  When I went away I suppose that nothing was further from my mind than the start of a new football season whilst I was away.  Much of the time I couldn't have told you what day it was which, I suppose, is a good sign for a holiday.

Today hasn't been great for followers of Yorkshire CCC (lost to Essex in the 50 overs Royal London Cup on DLS after heavy rain meant that further play was impossible, but we were well on the way to losing anyway when the rain came).  Neither has there been much "feel-good" factor on the first day of the England v South Africa Test Match at Lord's.

Boro has not yet won a game.  Boro's record at Stoke is not great.  The chances are that we will struggle there.  But if we start a season with 3 (or is it 4?) games without a win in the league, and a home cup defeat against lower league opposition, Boro will not be in a good position in the league either. 

I will go the the Tortured Toad for a drink, to see my Wednesday Club mates for the first time since mid July. I may take a radio+earphones with me but will take my phone so I can keep tabs with the latest score via the internet.  In Northumberland (on the coast just south of Bamburgh) I could neither get BBCTees on FM nor on DAB because of the location, and as usual the internet coverage of BBCTees cut out just before kick-off, so I wasn't able to follow the game other than by seeing the scores being updated on the BBCSport App.

I suppose if I say Boro will lose 1-0 or 2-0 I will at least feel better if Boro improves on those scores.  I would not put money on any particular score.

This post was modified 2 months ago by Forever Dormo

werdermouth
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Quick thanks to OFB for an excellent and detailed match preview, which I read on the road as we just arrived back from holiday a few hours ago. Just purchased my season subscription to Boro Live but I'm seriously lacking in sleep after two days travelling by car from Italy so I'll probably be in dreamland long before everyone else watching Wilder's first win of the season - though can't rule out a nil-nil for wednesday night at Stoke!


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Stircrazy
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Posted by: @werdermouth

Team News...

Akpom is injured and misses out and Fry also on the bench but Mowatt starts - it looks like a back three of Dijksteel, Lenihan and Bola with probably McNair in midfield with Howson and Mowatt - which means McGree probably playing as a number ten with Watmore the lone striker.

Image

According to Vic, Akpom is out with a knackered knee.  🙁  Interesting that Hoppe is on the bench.

 


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Stircrazy
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H/T  The Potters took the lead through Jacob Brown in the 19th minutes, assisted by Dwigth Gayle (*rolls eyes*).  They had a second chalked off a few minutes later (dunno why), then Watmore levelled in the 38th minute with the help of Isaiah Jones.

The Blades lead the Black Cats by 1-0 after 35 minutes.


Pedro de Espana
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Let’s hope that Chuba’s injury is not a long one


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Pedro de Espana
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CW got to impress on the defenders to defend better and for the midfield to block the centre.


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Stircrazy
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Phil Jagielka gives Boro the lead with an OG in the 63rd minute.  *prays*

This post was modified 2 months ago 2 times by Stircrazy

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Stircrazy
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Posted by: @stircrazy

Phil Jagielka gives Boro the lead with an OG in the 63rd minute.  *prays*

Vic's comment:

Another brilliant ball in from Giles and Watmore puts in an effort that nicked in off carbon-dated centre back Jagielka (2-1, 64 mins)

 


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Stircrazy
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Stoke sucker punch:  player who rejoices in the name of D'Margio Wright-Phillips.  2-2.  Why am I not surprised?!!  🙁


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jarkko
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One of the best matches I have seen for a while. We played superbly. Stoke did not deserve anything from the match and their fans started to boo already in the first half.

Stoke had possession for 10 to 15 minuter after 55 mins but other than that we bossed the game. Totally.

I cannot even be angry about the result. The Boro fans clapped the team out. We will be a strong team this season. The aim must be top two - nothing else is too low.

Enjoyed the match today more than the prevous score draw on Sunday. Well plyed. We will win more than lose and draw in together.  Up the Boro!

This post was modified 2 months ago by jarkko

werdermouth
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A game Boro in truth should have won - they dominated the opening 20 minutes and conceded a dubious goal after Jones didn't get given a foul which left Boro exposed to a sucker punch - I actually fell asleep shortly after that and woke up at the beginning of the second half to find Boro were level and once more dominating the game and playing some good crisp stuff. A deserved second looked like Wilder would get his first win but as I was about to go to sleep happy, this time an injury-time sucker punch that wasn't a foul saw Stoke equalise - even then Boro nearly got a winner but sadly the game ended with another draw.

So no dream ending tonight and still no win despite playing well and looking much the better side - looks like the nightmare start will continue for a bit longer but plenty of good performances to think Boro's season will awaken soon and they'll be climbing the table. Time for bed...

 


jarkko
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I think it was a Paddy McNair mistake the last Stoke goal. He did not boot the ball away but tried to bring the ball away from the edge of the penalty area. His first touch was too hard. The ball went to Skoke and they soon had the ball back in and a free header goes in.

We should have scored (McGree, I am looking at you, two glorious chances). When we learn to kill these games, we will be there or there about.

It looked like a faul on Jones when Stoke got their first goal. They didn't show the replays that early but looked like one. And Maddo saw some replays on his phone and said a foul.

So small margins. We should have murdered them. Up the Boro! 


Selwynoz
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That was pretty cruel. Got up at 4.30 in the morning for the live stream and it was definitely worth it. As @Jarkko says we were completely dominant. We conceded a ridiculous goal that was an absolutely clear foul on Jones and then battled back to take a deserved lead. I suppose that you can argue that it's our own fault for not pushing home our advantage and leaving Stoke too far behind to equalise but we were in control and didn't deserve that finish.

I too am optimistic and I look forward to the last pieces being put into the puzzle. I do think that Bola had a particularly good game tonight and it does illustrate the advantage of that left sided player for balance on the left side of the defence and the left touchline. It just switches the attack so much quicker.

UTB


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