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Middlesbrough

Stadium: Riverside Stadium (35,100)
Distance from OT: 122 miles
Position 07/08: 13th
Head-to-head 07/08: 4-1 (h), 2-2 (a)
When do we meet? 28/12 (h), 2/5 (a)
17/08/2008 08:00

Northern rocks: Middlesbro'

Could it be time for Gareth Southgate's students to graduate?…

Headmaster Gareth Southgate. You have to feel for Boro's fans. First, their weekly 90-minute snooze was disrupted by blasts of music every time their team scored. Then, after getting rid of Steve McClaren, they got Southgate. Yet the youngster – at 37, the top flight's second youngest boss – is building himself a reputation and hasn't had any season tickets thrown at him so far. Arsène Wenger even thinks he's "good enough" to manage England.

Head boy Afonso Alves. He comes from Heerenveen and he's a goal machine – say the small pocket of Riverside fans who make any semblance of noise...

Maths Boro's 8-1 demolition of City on the last day of the season was their biggest win since thrashing Brighton 9-1 in 1958.

English Boro could almost field an English A and B thanks to their 17 home-grown players!

History When Boro won the Anglo-Scottish Cup in 1976 they almost doubled the workload for the trophy cabinet cleaners. Since then the cleaning demands have grown, with the Kirin Cup in 1980, the Championship title in 1995 and the League Cup in 2004.

Tuck shop item Breakaway bar: popular a while ago but not many takers nowadays.

Predicted grade C If Mido and Alves stay off the fish suppers, Boro could have a potent strike force, and the class of 2008 have another year of experience to count on.

Detention Moody Mido.

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