Saturday, 16 July 2016

Doncaster Rovers vs Middlesbrough Club Friendly Match Preview And Prediction - July 16, 2016

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These two clubs were in the same division not so long back but there will be 3 leagues between them in the coming season with Middlesbrough having just secured promotion to the Premier League while Doncaster have just been relegated to League Two.

After a rocky patch in the opening months of 2016 which saw Aitor Karanka come to the brink of leaving the club, Middlesbrough recovered brilliantly and held their nerve to clinch a return to the top flight after 7 years in the Championship. Naturally they are expected to struggle but there is optimism on Teesside that they will equip themselves well in the top flight and they have already made several moves in the transfer market in an attempt to bolster their squad.

As for Doncaster they are still reeling from their second relegation in the space of 3 years and although they did put a late season run together where they took 8 points from their final 5 games, there is still something of a sour mood at the Keepmoat right now. This is their first official pre-season game with Newcastle also visiting next week as they gear up for an opening day clash with Altrincham.

Boro have already played one friendly and that was a 6-0 win at York last weekend so they are looking sharp and have endured an intensive week of fitness training in Spain since then. Players are clearly eager to impress to win a place in Karanka’s team for the opening Premier League game against Stoke. The visitors success in recent years has been based around a very strong defence and it’s hard to see Doncaster causing them many problems here so consider backing Middlesbrough to win 2-0 at 7/1.

3 of the last 4 meetings between the clubs have ended 0-0. That includes the last two which were a friendly last summer and a Championship clash in February 2014. Both games were played in Doncaster.

Doncaster won just 2 of their final 22 games last season. Middlesbrough are unbeaten in 11 matches since a defeat at Charlton in March.

Doncaster signed youngster Ricardo Calder on loan from Aston Villa this week and he could start. They've also added 9 other players this summer who could feature.

James Husband dislocated his shoulder at York last week and won't feature. Grant Leadbitter and Dani Ayala are also still out and are unlikely to be fit for the start of the season.

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