Two underachieving sides come face-to-face this weekend, looking to end their season on a high. Each have relied heavily on a number of key players, and both Paul Ince and Joe Cole can be counted among a handful of midfielders that have performed consistently for the two sides this term.
Ince has been the main man for Boro this season, forming an increasingly effective midfield partnership with Australian Paul Okon - despite what results may suggest. He has maintained a decent 73% level of pass completion - only Okon has completed more passes than the Boro skipper this season, who has at times looked as good as ever.
Cole has had a tough time living up to the weight of expectation on his shoulders. He has responded well however, especially when he came in for a little bit of stick a couple of months ago, and his overall pass completion rate has been excellent. In the opposition half alone, he has found a colleague with 73% of his distribution - the Hammers' finest average.
Few players battle harder for the ball than Ince. Although time has been called on his international career, he continues to be one of the toughest tacklers in the country, and none of his team-mates have attempted to relieve the opposition of the ball on a greater number of occasions.
His West Ham counterpart does not have as hard a reputation, but he has also put himself around with purpose in the centre of the park. He has taken the ball with 73% of his attempted challenges - although he has tackled fewer players than Ince, he has on balance been more successful.
Cole is already known for the quality of his dribbling. He has successfully completed the joint-highest number of dribbles of any Hammer, but although Frederic Kanoute can match his tally, Cole's average level of success is far higher, at 52%. The only man to have made more successful runs with ball at his feet is Ryan Giggs - and even he cannot match Cole's success rate.
Of the two men, Cole has, perhaps surprisingly, been the more rash in terms of discipline. He has conceded a greater number of fouls than the Middlesbrough man, although he has clearly chosen his fouls more wisely, as Ince has been booked three more times than the youngster.
With little to play for but pride for either side, it should be a fairly peaceful encounter. Of course, with Ince involved it is unlikely to remain relaxed for long, and Hammers Bet are offering 175/1 on a lively 2-2 draw, with the Hammers midfielder grabbing the opening goal.