Middlesbrough v Brighton & Hove Albion

George Friend

BBC coverage

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Listen on BBC Radio 5 live and BBC local radio; text commentary on the BBC Sport website


Middlesbrough’s George Friend (hamstring) is a doubt for Saturday’s promotion decider against Brighton.

Ritchie de Laet will likely step into the defence, should Friend fail to make the cut.

Brighton will be without Lewis Dunk (suspension), making way for Gordon Greer at centre-half.

On-loan James Wilson could start but Bobby Zamora (hip), Uwe Hunemeier (groin) and Solly March (knee) are still out.


  • Boro have won three of their last four league encounters with the Seagulls (D1).
  • Brighton have not conceded a goal in any of their last three trips to the Riverside, winning two (D1).
  • Middlesbrough will be promoted to the Premier League for the fourth time if they avoid defeat against Brighton. The Seagulls need to win to assure automatic promotion.
  • Brighton have gone 13 games unbeaten, winning nine and drawing four.
  • Boro have kept more clean sheets in league competition than any other team in the top four tiers this season (22).
  • Tomer Hemed’s 17 goals have won Brighton 16 points this season; only Andre Gray’s goals for Burnley (22 points won) have been more valuable.
  • Brighton have scored the first goal in more matches than any other team this season (28), with Chris Hughton’s men avoiding defeat in all of those games (W21 D7).
  • Aitor Karanka’s charges have won six and lost none of their last nine matches in league competition.

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