EPL Preview: Middlesbrough Vs Hull City

Brian RhodesSenior Analyst IApril 10, 2009

MIDDLESBROUGH, UNITED KINGDOM - JANUARY 31:  Gareth Southgate the manager of Middlesbrough  during the Barclays Premier League match between Middlesbrough and Blackburn Rovers at the Riverside Stadium on January 31, 2009 in Middlesbrough, England.  (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

PL Preview: Middlesbrough Vs Hull City, The Riverside Stadium, Middlesbrough, 11th April 2009, 15:00BST.

Well the pressure is certainly on now for both clubs. Gareth Southgate has been playing up the significance of Saturday's fixture.

Boro will be without their influential skipper Emanuel Pogatetz, he will likely be replaced by Chris Riggott who is returning from injury. Southgate will be hoping that Adam Johnson will pass a late fitness test but he will be unable to call upon the services of Gary O'Neil who is starting a two game ban.

Phil Brown is likely to find a place on the bench for the former Boro favourite George Boateng. The veteran Dutch international has been sidelined for over two months but has bneen training for two weeks now and may get a run out aginst his old club at some stage.

The biggest doubt for the Tigers is Daniel Cousin who has not played for some weeks with a back injury. Brown will be hoping that he can shake his injury off for this important fixture.

"On Saturday we have a great game. It's a bit of a local derby - Hull will bring a big crowd with them but it is an opportunity for us to get back into the fight because at the moment we are a bit out of it. The win could take us back into it", said Gareth Southgate the Boro Boss.

The North East club have been touting the game as "One Hull Of A Game", to their fans and selling tickets at special reduced rates to try and induce their ever dwindling numbers to return to the Riverside and cheer on the Smoggies.

On the flip side Hull City have sold out their full ticket allocation for the fixture. This will mean that the Tiger-nation will be in full song for the tie with 4000 traveling Hull City fans making their way North on Saturday afternoon for this important tie.

Since the last meeting between the two clubs, a 2-1 victory for the Tigers, which saw three goals in the last 11minutes of the game.

The opening goal from Tuncay was the result of some intricate passing that opened up the Tiger's defence allowing him to slide the ball into an empty net. Hull City's equaliser was an own goal from the the unfortunate Boro keeper Turnbull. Mendy had latched onto the ball from a cross from King and shot at the near post. The ball deflected off the post onto the hapless keeper and deflected into the net, 1-1.

It wouldn't stay 1-1 for long as another attack three minutes later saw Geovanni the mercurial Brazilian receive a looped pass over the top in the box. Wheater gave him a shove in the back and Geovanni wins a penalty kick. King steps up and it's 2-1 to the Tigers.

In a game that Hull City had the majority of the play it had appeared that it would be a battling nil, nil draw but in the space of six minutes the tie was turned by errors on both sides.

This was Hull City's last home win of the season things have changed considerably for both teams and their managers.

The errors that shaped the last meeting between the clubs have been manifesting themselves ever since for both clubs, and sees them both now languishing in a relegation dog fight.