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Match Previews


28 December 2023

Match Previews


28 December 2023

An in-depth look at Town's next Sky Bet Championship opponent.

- Huddersfield Town vs Middlesbrough
- Friday 29 December 2023, 7.45pm kick-off
- Full preview of what to expect from Boro

Our final game of 2023 takes place on Friday when we welcome Middlesbrough to the John Smith’s Stadium.

Boro, led by former Manchester United and Spurs midfielder Michael Carrick, will arrive in West Yorkshire right in the middle of the long pack of teams that are vying for the Championship Play-Off positions.

However, Darren Moore’s Town side will be aiming to capitalise on the momentum of the big 3-0 Boxing Day win over another of those sides, Blackburn Rovers.


Middlesbrough will arrive at the John Smith’s Stadium placed 14th in the Sky Bet Championship table just over the halfway stage, with 33 points from their opening 24 games. That is eight points more than Town.

December has been a very up-and-down month for Friday’s opposition. They started the month with three straight defeats to Leeds United, Ipswich Town and Hull City, but turned that around with three successive victories over Swansea City, Port Vale in the Carabao Cup and West Bromwich Albion.

Sadly for them, that momentum stalled slightly on Boxing Day with defeat at Rotherham United.

That form reflects their season so far. In contrast to Town, who have the most draws in the Championship, Boro have only drawn three of their 24 games so far this term.


Michael Carrick 16_9.jpg

Now 42 years old, Middlesbrough boss Michael Carrick is earning a real reputation as a manager to follow in the footsteps of his impressive playing career.

Having come through their Academy to play over 150 games as a midfielder at West Ham United, Carrick spent two years at Tottenham Hotspur before seeing out his career through a long spell at Manchester United.

He earned 34 caps for England to add to his five Premier League titles, a Champions League, a Europa League, an FA Cup win, and an Intertoto Cup win during a star-studded playing career.

Upon retirement he was appointed to Jose Mourinho’s coaching team at Old Trafford and was eventually named caretaker manager when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer departed in November 2021.

His first permanent job followed when he was appointed Boro boss in October 2022, and he has done an excellent job ever since. In his first season he guided his team from the relegation zone to the Play-Offs, meeting defeat to Coventry City in the semi-finals, and this year they are within striking distance of the Play-Offs against whilst making the semi-finals of the Carabao Cup too.


Boro were defeated at Rotherham United on Boxing Day in a result that belies many of the statistics underpinning the game.

Carrick’s men dominated the game but couldn’t score and were punished when Cohen Bramall’s cross went straight in during the 72nd minute.

Boro had enjoyed 71% possession and had 19 shots to Rotherham’s three but came away from South Yorkshire with nothing.

Previous Starting XI (4-2-3-1):
Tom Glover; Anfernee Dijksteel, Dael Fry, Matt Clarke, Alex Bangura; Jonny Howson (c), Daniel Barlaser; Isaiah Jones, Morgan Rogers, Sam Greenwood; Samuel Silvera


Carrick has consistently deployed Boro in a 4-2-3-1 formation but has recently had to shuffle his personnel due to an injury to joint top scorer Emmanuel Latte Lath. Without a recognised, out and out striker to call upon, that has seen Australian Samuel Silvera move from his usual position out wide to lead the line. After the defeat at Rotherham on Boxing Day, Carrick indicated to the press that he doesn’t expect the forward back in time for our game on Friday.

Behind the forward, Boro have a solid look to them, with centre backs Matt Clarke and Dael Fry dominant in the air alongside two expressive full backs in Anfernee Dijksteel and Alex Bangura.

Jonny Howson still skippers the side from central midfield alongside Daniel Barlaser, who was arguably their best player in South Yorkshire on the 26th.

They also have options in the three positions behind the striker, with Morgan Rogers enjoying a great season, Isaiah Jones offering blistering pace and the likes of former Town man Matt Crooks ready to offer a different option with his physicality.


Dael Fry

Dael Fry 16_9.jpg

Now 26 years old, centre back Fry has played over 200 games for Boro having progressed through the Club’s Academy to turn professional.

A former England Under-21 international, he has played the most Sky Bet Championship minutes for Boro so far this season under Michael Carrick.

Fry is strong in the aerial duel, as you’d expect from a Championship centre half, but is also a good passer of the football.

Daniel Barlaser

Daniel Barlaser 16_9.jpg

Central midfielder Barlaser joined Middlesbrough in the January 2023 transfer window from Rotherham United, where he had become one of the team’s standout players.

A former Newcastle United junior, he initially joined Rotherham on loan in the 2019/20 season in a move that became permanent. He was a star of the Millers side that gained promotion to the Championship in 2022.

One of Boro’s set piece takers, he has registered two assists so far this season and is one of the better passers in the division.

Sam Greenwood

Sam Greenwood 16_9.jpg

Greenwood joined Boro on loan from fellow Sky Bet Championship side Leeds United for the season in the summer and has done well for his new team so far, scoring five league goals to go alongside two assists.

Playing off the left side, he adds a real goal threat when drifting infield, and is also a very adept free kick taker.

The 21-year-old, who has been capped by England to U21 level, started his career in the Sunderland and Arsenal academies before joining Leeds.


Town boss Darren Moore will give updated team news when he speaks to the media at the Millers Oils High Performance Complex at our pre-match press conference at 1.30pm on Thursday 28 December 2023.

Supporters will be able to watch the conference live on HTTV to hear the latest team news as it’s shared.


Town will wear the famous blue and white stripes at the John Smith’s Stadium on Friday night, of course!

CLICK HERE to get your replica shirt online now.


Get your ticket online now – click HERE!


Town fans who cannot make Friday’s game in person can watch a live stream of the game through iFollow, with match passes on sale now at just £10!

If you’re on the move outside West Yorkshire, you can buy an audio pass to listen to live commentary from BBC Radio Leeds for just £2.50.

CLICK HERE to find out more.

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