In Focus: Middlesbrough

Norwich City take on Middlesbrough in the Sky Bet Championship at Carrow Road on Saturday (3pm).

Daniel Farke’s men will be hoping to complete a league double over their opponents but will face a strong Boro side revitalised after a busy transfer deadline day.

Here’s our guide to what City can expect at the weekend:

January transfer business
After a busy summer with plenty of new faces, boss Tony Pulis began stamping his mark on Boro’s playing personnel last month.

Most of Pulis’ business was completed towards the climax of the window and even right up until the deadline with the loan signings of Everton midfielder Muhamed Besic and Huddersfield Town defender Martin Cranie being completed within hours of the window closure.

Pulis’s first signing as Boro manager came the day before with England Under-21 international Jack Harrison (pictured) joining on a temporary basis from Manchester City, having spent the last two years of his career in the MLS with New York City.

The three arrivals allowed the same number of first-team players to depart on deadline day. Full-back Cyrus Christie joined Fulham on a permanent deal and strikers Martin Braithwaite and Ashley Fetcher both moved out on loan, despite joining Boro just six months before.

Elsewhere in the window, Adlene Guedioura’s contract was terminated by mutual consent and Adam Forshaw joined league rivals Leeds United for £4.5 million.

Form guide
Since Pulis took charge at the Riverside Stadium on Boxing Day, Boro have had a mixed bag of results in the Sky Bet Championship.

His first game as manager ended in defeat as a late strike from former Canary Robert Snodgrass helped Aston Villa pick up a 1-0 victory.

On New Year’s Day, Boro fought back from 2-1 down to defeat fellow play-off hopefuls Preston North End 3-2 with another two former Canaries in Jonny Howson and Daniel Ayala (pictured) on the scoresheet.

On January 13, Oliver Norwood’s stoppage time penalty meant Boro would lose at home for the second successive game as they lost 1-0 to Fulham. A week later, Pulis enjoyed the best result of his tenure to date with a comfortable 3-0 win over Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road.

Last time out, Boro were held to a goalless draw by Sheffield Wednesday to leave them in eighth in the Sky Bet Championship, just three points outside the play-off places.

Previous meeting
The last time City and Middlesbrough met was back in September as Farke’s men made the long journey north seeking to build on their previous trip on the road - a 1-0 victory at Sheffield United.

For the second away game running, City only needed a solitary goal to take all three points with a superb strike from James Maddison (pictured) bending past Darren Randolph in the first-half.

City defended superbly for the remainder of the game as they managed to see out the victory and keep their fifth successive clean sheet.

Squad list
Goalkeepers: Dimi Konstantopoulos, Tomas Mejias, Darren Randolph

Defenders: Fabio Da Silva, George Friend, Daniel Ayala, Ryan Shotton, Ben Gibson, Dael Fry, Martin Cranie

Midfielders: Grant Leadbitter, Adam Clayton, Jonny Howson, Stewart Downing, Marvin Johnson, Lewis Baker, Adama Traore, Jack Harrison, Muhamed Besic

Forwards: Britt Assombalonga, Patrick Bamford, Rudy Gestede

Coral are offering odds of 33/20 for a City victory on Saturday. CLICK HERE to make your bet!

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