Barclays Premier League
Middlesbrough v United
Sat 2 May (12:45 BST)

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Odds: Boro 6/1, Draw 3/1, Utd 1/2

30/04/2009 13:26, Report by Nick Coppack

Match Pack: Boro

Reds return to league duty aiming to take another step toward the title on Teesside...

Form Guide: After a brief blip in March, Sir Alex’s men have won the last four league games and head to the Riverside after a scintillating display against Arsenal in the Champions League. Middlesbrough have won just one of their last eight in all competitions and are stuck in the relegation zone. Gareth Southgate’s men are desperate for points and will take heart in the fact United have won just three times in the last eight visits to Teesside.

Ins and Outs: The Reds travel to the North East without long-term absentee Owen Hargreaves, and Rio Ferdinand is a major doubt after a rib injury against Arsenal. Gary Neville is expected to be sidelined for another week (foot). As for Boro, Southgate is definitely without Chris Riggott (knee), while Austrian midfielder Emanuel Pogatetz could face a late fitness test on a knee injury sustained against Bolton in early April.

Star Man: Boro forward Afonso Alvez may not be firing this term, but United fans will remember his Riverside display last term. The burly Brazilian bagged two against the Reds on a snow-kissed Sunday in last April’s 2-2 draw.

Referee: Mark Halsey (Lancashire). Halsey has been in charge of three United games this season, all at Old Trafford (Wes Brom, Sunderland, Everton). In those games, he’s shown just two yellow cards.

Rivals watch:
Chelsea v Fulham (Sat 15:00 BST), Liverpool v Newcastle (Sun 13:30 BST).


Premier League