Sky Live: Brentford v M’boro

Date published: Friday 8th May 2015 8:00

Brentford’s starting line-up is likely to be unchanged when they host Middlesbrough in the first leg of the Championship play-off semi-final.

Boss Mark Warburton is set to stick with the side which beat Wigan 3-0 on the final day of the season to clinch their place in the top six.

There could be a change on the bench, however, if on-loan Everton striker Chris Long can overcome the leg injury which has kept him on the sidelines for a month.

Back-up goalkeeper Richard Lee is back from a loan spell at Fulham and is available but Will Grigg and Nick Proschwitz, who have also been out on loan, will not be involved while fellow striker Scott Hogan (knee) remains a long-term injury absentee.

Middlesbrough full-back George Friend will return to the squad after missing 0-0 draw against Brighton through suspension.

Striker Patrick Bamford is expected to be available after sitting out last weekend because of a persistent ankle problem, having trained this week after a scan showed no lasting damage.

However, central defender Jonathan Woodgate remains a doubt as he continues his recovery from a hamstring injury, although he too is close to being available once again.

Head coach Aitor Karanka otherwise has a relatively full squad from which to choose with only long-term absentees Damia Abella (knee) and Rhys Williams (Achilles) still sidelined.

Betting

Brentford are Sky Bet’s marginal favourites at 8/5 for Friday’s first leg, with Middlesbrough 13/8 for the victory while the draw is priced at 12/5. Aitor Karanka’s men are, however, shorter odds to make the final at 4/7 to the Bees’ odds of 5/4, while they are naturally also favoured in the outright at 2/1 to 4/1 for their hosts. Boro recorded a 1-0 victory when the pair met at Griffin Park and are 7/1 for a repeat of that scoreline, while they are 9/4 to keep yet another clean sheet. Andre Gray is considered the most likely candidate to prevent that from happening at 6/1 to score first, while Patrick Bamford is the 5/1 favourite to break the deadlock.

Watch the first leg of the Sky Bet Championship tie between Brentford and Middlesbrough on Friday. Coverage begins on Sky Sports 1 at 7:30pm.

Don’t miss the Play-Offs. Watch live for £6.99 on NOW TV with a Sky Sports Day Pass. No contract.

Related Articles

Your Say

Comments are closed here.