Saturday lunchtime, for many represents a final chance to see their team perform this season in a game which may not have much significance and could even feel like a friendly atmosphere, but not at the Riverside.

Billed as the play-off before the play-offs is a match that sees Middlesbrough entertain Brighton in the tensest finale in years to see who is promoted to the premier league with a reported £200m to the victor. If Middlesbrough avoid defeat they will be promoted whereas a Brighton win will see them go up at the expense of Middlesbrough. Here is a look at the factors which may give Middlesbrough the edge in what promises to be an explosive final day on Teesside.

  1. Defensive record
Middlesbrough have the meanest defence in the Championship, in fact they have conceded the fewest goals in all four divisions.
*Conceded 0.74 goals per game, the fewest in all four English leagues.
If Boro were to record a clean sheet on Saturday it would make it exactly 50% of clean sheets this season.
*Boro have 22 clean sheets from 45 games.
If Boro score then the chances are they won’t be beaten.
*Last time Boro conceded more than one goal at the Riverside was 23rd August 2014 v Sheff Wed.
Statistically Boro have one of the best defences in Europe, their run of 9 clean sheets was 2nd best in Europe. Only Juventus bettered it.
*Clean sheet rate of 47.3% is the 10th best in Europe.
If Boro mange to keep a clean sheet on Saturday it will be a new club record for amount of goals conceded at home in a season (7), they achieved the same number in 1901/02 but that was with 17 home games as opposed to 23 this season.
Karanka has to take a lot of credit for their formidable defence, under him they have conceded only 91 goals in 122 games.

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