In this weekend’s edition of Championship action, Michael Carrick’s Middlesbrough will take on relegation-threatened Blackpool, as Boro look to right the wrongs of their last outing against Sunderland.
In their previous fixture, Boro suffered a derby day defeat as they fell to a 2-0 loss against bitter rivals Sunderland. Middlesbrough’s game plan was undone in the 49th minute when Dael Fry was sent off and conceded a penalty in the process. 1-0 down, away from home and with ten men, there was little Boro could do as the Black Cats romped to victory.
Meanwhile, Blackpool have not played a Championship game since January 14, when they took on Watford. In another meek display from the Tangerines, they lost 2-0, with manager Michael Appleton receiving his marching orders just four days later. He was replaced on January 19 by former Wolves and Ipswich boss, Mick McCarthy.
It is a game that Middlesbrough will be expected to win. However, against an experienced coach like McCarthy, anything can happen – especially when you consider that by comparison, Michael Carrick’s managerial career is in its infancy.
Middlesbrough are currently third in the league, following a massive upturn in form after the appointment of Carrick. Blackpool, on other hand, are 23rd, having not won a league game since October 22.
Elsewhere in the Championship, Sheffield United will take on Rotherham United in a potentially fierce South Yorkshire derby. Sheffield United are second in the league, but Rotherham are one of just five teams to beat them in league this season – and the Millers are currently enjoying a period of improved form under Matt Taylor.
Additionally, leaders Burnley will take on Norwich, Millwall will play Sunderland and bottom club Wigan will come up against local rivals Blackburn Rovers in a Lancashire derby.