Middlesbrough have been on a war footing since Michael Carrick pitched up along the River Tees in mid-October, with the club winning nine of their 13 games under the former Manchester United caretaker coach. Those results have left them third in the table and daring to dream of a Premier League return.
As things currently stand, there is a rather sizeable 12-point gap between Boro and second-placed Sheffield United, but there are still 17 games to go in this frantically-paced Championship season, and Carrick will fancy his chances of continuing his side’s good fortunes and asking further questions of the top two.
Blackpool by contrast are in the doldrums of defeat and staring down the metaphorical barrel in 23rd. Mick McCarthy was drafted in at the end of last month and will be hoping his experience can help galvanise the club and pull them away from relegation danger.
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Middlesbrough vs Blackpool match stats
Chuba Akpom is the current leading scorer in the Championship this season with 14 goals, 10 of which have come from open play, which also places him top of the charts in the second tier. Quite incredibly, the former Arsenal forward has netted 13 Big Chances, the only player to register double digits for that particular metric, underlining his decisiveness in front of goal.