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Match Preview: Middlesbrough v Sunderland - everything you need to know ahead of kick-off!

It’s time for derby debate as we travel down the A19 to the Riverside, where we don’t have the best record - here’s all you need to know ahead of kick-off.

Photo by James Baylis - AMA/Getty Images

Sunday 4th February 2024

(11th) Middlesbrough v Sunderland (7th)

Championship

Riverside Stadium

Kick-Off: 12:00


Tickets & Match Coverage

Tickets: Tickets are sold out.

TV/Stream: Full live match coverage is available via Sky Sports.

Radio: Full live match commentary available via BBC Radio Newcastle (not online)

Don’t forget to follow the blow-by-blow account of the game on the Roker Report Twitter feed (@RokerReport) and check out the player ratings after the full-time whistle at www.RokerReport.com!


The build-up...

It’s time again for the never ending ‘derby’ debate around today’s opposition, with Darren Williams header from the late-90’s no doubt being circulated in the build-up.

One of the reasons Williams’ header will no doubt be replayed is our lack of victories at the Riverside over the years. Our last league win there came back in 2005, where Sunderland wins were pretty thin on the ground, but goals from Tommy Miller and Julio Arca gave the Lads the win - and before that it was back in 1997 courtesy of that Williams header.

Sunderland on the road under Michael Beale has been a mixed bag in the three games he has been in charge of so far. A win at Hull City was followed by a fortunate draw at Rotherham based on the performance and then a decent display at Ipswich Town potentially deserved more.

Going back further than the appointment of Beale however, we have only recorded one win in nine away from home and could do with a performance and a result away from the Stadium of Light to provide back-to-back victories for the first time since the first two games following Tony Mowbray’s departure.

Sunderland v Stoke City - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

After last season’s charge to the play-offs following the manager switch from Chris Wilder to Michael Carrick, much was expected this season from Middlesbrough, but they currently find themselves chasing the play-off positions - along with most of the Championship.

If they’re to find consistency to make another later surge into the top six then their home form is probably the best place to start. On home form alone, Middlesbrough would be sitting 15th in the table, having won only once in the last five league games at the Riverside.

While at it, they have only scored 15 goals in the 14 league games played so far on home soil, which means the loss of Morgan Rogers to Aston Villa on the final day of the transfer window is an even bigger blow. Rogers was joint top scorer at Boro and was the lead on assists, and as the deal happened so late in the window, no replacement was recruited.

As big a game as this is for the Lads, it’s a big one for Carrick and Boro as they look to improve their home form and sit four points behind the top six with a game in hand.

Chelsea v Middlesbrough - Carabao Cup Semi Final Second Leg
Michael Carrick
Photo by Robin Jones/Getty Images

The betting...

The bookies have the home side down as favourites at 19/20, while an away win is priced at around 13/5 and the draw is 12/5.


Head to head... at Middlesbrough

(All competitions)

  • Sunderland wins: 22
  • Draws: 18
  • Middlesbrough wins: 37
  • Sunderland goals: 91
  • Middlesbrough goals: 121

Last time we met... at the Riverside Stadium

Monday 5th September 2022

Championship

Middlesbrough 1-0 Sunderland

[McGree 25’]

Sunderland: Patterson, Gooch (Dajaku), O’Nien, Batth, Cirkin (Wright), Evans, Neil, Roberts (Diallo), Pritchard (Embleton), Clarke, Simms Substitutes not used: Bass, Alese, Matete

Middlesbrough: Roberts, Jones, Giles, McNair (Dijksteel), Fry, Clarke, Crooks, Howson, Muniz (Smith), McGree (Watmore), Mowatt (Bola) Substitutes not used: Daniels, Forss, Hoppe

Attendance: 30,391

Middlesbrough v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship
Tony Mowbray and Chris Wilder on the sidelines when the two sides last met at the Riverside back in September 2022
Photo by Mark Fletcher/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Played for both...

Peter Davenport

Davenport was plucked from the West Cheshire league by Brian Clough’s Nottingham Forest and didn’t look back. Four years at the City Ground resulted in a move to Manchester United in 1986 under Ron Atkinson and then Alex Ferguson before joining Middlesbrough and then the Lads in 1990.

Three years and 120 appearances later, Davenport made a move north of the border to join Airdrie. Spells at St Johnstone, Stockport County, Southport and Macclesfield Town followed before retiring 2004.

Soccer - FA Cup Final - Liverpool v Sunderland - Wembley Stadium
Peter Davenport in action in the 1992 FA Cup final
Photo by Ross Kinnaird/EMPICS via Getty Images

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