Middlesbrough host Preston North End in the Championship on Saturday afternoon.
Middlesbrough come into this weekend’s clash with Preston North End looking to cup the gap to Sheffield United once again.
With nine games remaining, Boro now sit six points behind the Blades. As they were held to a draw against Stoke City, Paul Heckingbottom’s side picked up a much-needed win against Sunderland to put some breathing space between the two again.
As for Preston North End, they’re now undefeated in seven consecutive Championship games.
Ryan Lowe’s side have won back-to-back games too, overcoming relegation threatened duo Cardiff City and Rotherham United. Their form has put them in 11th place, with seven points separating them and the play-offs.
Here, a handful of our writers make their predictions for the game…
“Middlesbrough are doing just about all they can to close the gap to Sheffield United but the Blades keep picking up wins just at the right time. Boro can’t afford to slow down at all, and they’re in for a tough test against Preston.
“The Lilywhites have shown a welcome improvement in recent weeks and while I think a late play-off push will prove a step too far, it will be important to carry some momentum into summer.
“Away to Boro though, I think they’ll come up short. It could be close, but I will go for a home win here.”
Score prediction: Middlesbrough 2-0 Preston North End
“Preston are looking decent right now, but I’m not sure they have enough to finish inside the top-six this season. They’re a very tough team to break down and they’ve steadily found their scoring touch in the Championship, so it’ll be a very tough test for Middlesbrough on Saturday.
“But Michael Carrick’s side are really firing. I really fancy them to earn promotion this season and so I think they’ll come out of this one victorious – I’m going to predict a narrow win for the home side.”
Score prediction: Middlesbrough 1-0 Preston North End