Middlesbrough match preview

Barclays Premier League
Middlesbrough v West Ham United
Riverside Stadium
Saturday 1 November
Referee: Andre Marriner
WHUTV - Full audio commentary


* West Ham United travel to Middlesbrough for their third game in six days, following the meetings with Arsenal last Sunday and Manchester United on Wednesday. An away win would lift them two points above their hosts in the Barclays Premier League.

* Loses in those two fixtures have contributed to the Hammers enduring a run of four straight defeats since their last victory - away at Fulham on 27 September.

* After the midweek games, West Ham United are eleventh with twelve points from three wins and a minus four goal difference. Their hosts are ninth with one point more than United after three wins and a draw with a goal difference of minus five.

* West Ham United are the only side in the Premier League not to have drawn a game yet this season. The visitors will be hoping to keep a clean sheet - a feat not achieved since the 1-0 win a Fulham in February.

* The highest both teams could climb with a win is seventh in the table. If they score first, the Hammers will hope to go on and win - as they have done in all four games where they have taken the lead this season.

* Carlton Cole is the club's top scorer with three goals from nine league appearances.  If Hayden Mullins is selected it would be his 150th league start in a claret and blue shirt.

* West Ham United are next in action on Saturday 8 November when they return to the Boleyn Ground after two long away trips. Middlesbrough travel to Aston Villa the following day.

Last time out

Wednesday 29 October 2008 - Manchester United 2-0 West Ham United

West Ham United: Green, Faubert, Collins, Upson, Ilunga, Behrami (Boa Morte 44), Bowyer (Sears 69), Mullins, Etherington (Collison 46), Di Michele, Bellamy.
Subs Not Used: Lastuvka, Lopez, Davenport, Reid.

Wednesday 29 October 2008 - Middlesbrough 2-0 Manchester City

Middlesbrough: Turnbull, Wheater, Riggott, Pogatetz, Taylor, Aliadiere, O'Neil, Digard (Arca 75), Downing (Adam Johnson 83), Sanli, Alves.
Subs Not Used: Jones, Emnes, John Johnson, Grounds, Walker.
Goals: Alves 53 pen, O'Neil 90.

Team news

* Diego Tristan is set to be named in the squad for the first time since joining the club after working hard on his fitness at Chadwell Heath. Lucas Neill and James Tomkins are also available after recovering from a virus and knee injury respectively.

* Gianfranco Zola will make a late decision on whether Scott Parker (calf) will play. Carlton Cole is unavailable as he serves the second match of his three game ban following the red card against Arsenal. Calum Davenport will not travel as he picked up a slight thigh strain in training on Friday.

* Valon Behrami is definitely out as he awaits the results of a scan on the calf injury picked up at Old Trafford. Mark Noble will be out for three more weeks with a calf problem.

* Luis Boa Morte, Jack Collison and Freddie Sears all received warm praise from their manager for their impressive substitute appearances at Old Trafford and will be hoping for starting places on Saturday.

* Jonathan Spector (hip) has been a welcome sight on his return to Chadwell Heath this week as he begins full training following his recovery from a hip injury. Kieron Dyer is in light training and is hopeful of joining the rest of the sqaud within a month. Danny Gabbidon is progressing well with his abdominal injury but no date has been set for his return.

* Middlesbrough midfielder Mohamed Shawky has been ruled out for three weeks with a thigh injury, while an ankle injury is expected to keep defender Robert Huth out. Mido and Justin Hoyte trained late in the week and could play a part on Saturday.

* West Ham United manager Gianfranco Zola said: "First of all the work we are doing here is very good. I've been a footballer such a long time and I know the value of training sessions. Secondly the attitude of the players has been fantastic, they've been very unlucky not to get results in the last few games and I am sure this can't go on forever. I have seen situations like this in my past so many times that I am sure it is going to improve."


The last meeting of the clubs was West Ham United's 2-1 win at the Riverside three days before Christmas last year, when Scott Parker scored his first goal for the club - an 89th minute winner.

The lineups were:

Middlesbrough: Schwarzer, Young, Woodgate (Huth 63), Wheater, Pogatetz, Johnson (Cattermole 77), Boateng, Arca, Downing, Aliadiere, Sanli.
Subs Not Used: Turnbull, Shawky, Lee.
Goal: Wheater 40

West Ham United: Green, Neill, Upson, McCartney, Spector, Solano (Noble 76), Parker, Mullins, Ljungberg, Camara (Pantsil 85), Ashton.
Subs Not Used: Wright, Dailly, Ephraim.
Goals: Ashton 44, Parker 90

Last season's win was West Ham United's first at the Riverside and their fifth in seven matches against Saturday's hosts. The second win in that sequence was the most memorable; a Marlon Harewood winner in the FA Cup semi-final on 23 April 2006 ensured the Hammers of a place in the Cardiff final against Liverpool.

Head to head (last six meetings, league unless stated)

22 December 2007 - Middlesbrough 1-2 West Ham United
15 September 2007 - West Ham United 3-0 Middlesbrough
31 March 2007 - West Ham United 2-0 Middlesbrough
11 November 2006 - Middlesbrough 1-0 West Ham United
23 April 2006 - Middlesbrough 0-1 West Ham United (FA Cup)
17 April 2006 -Middlesbrough 2-0 West Ham United

Overall record v Middlesbrough (all competitions): W 24, D 11, L 23

Barclays Premier League fixtures

Saturday 1 November 2008
Chelsea v Sunderland
Everton v Fulham (12.45pm)
Manchester United v Hull City
Portsmouth v Wigan Athletic
Stoke City v Arsenal
Tottenham Hotspur v Liverpool (5.30pm)
West Bromwich Albion v Blackburn Rovers

Sunday 2 November 2008
Bolton Wanderers v Manchester City (4pm)

Monday 3 November
Newcastle United v Aston Villa (8pm)

General information
For details on getting to the Riverside Stadium, click here

Weather: The forecast is for a cloudy, rainy day with a top temperature of 9C.