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'If It's Football, It's Vital'

Middlesbrough vs. Manchester City FC

Riverside Stadium

11th May 2008

3pm

Middlesbrough v MCFC

Could this be the fair well Sven game? With nothing riding on the game for both teams except pride the game is likely to take on the form of a pre-season fixture, especially as the weather is meant to be very good.

Vital Quotes:

Sven talk's about the game and the season: 'It`s important that we focus on Sunday, we will take a lot of fans, as we have done all season, and I want to put on a good show for them at the end of the season. They were fantastic last weekend and I want us to reward them at Middlesbrough.'

'I believe this has been a successful season, we bought a lot of new players before the start and I know we`ve not played perfectly at times, but we played well in many games.

'This is a new team, a young team, we are in the right part of the table and we could finish eighth so I'm pleased.'

He then goes on to talk about Isaksson who will be starting on Sunday: "Isaksson is in goal on Sunday.

"It`s not because Joe Hart had been behaving badly - on the pitch or off the pitch - it`s only that I want to give Isaksson the chance to play the last game."

He then adds about his fellow Swede: "I think he`s been absolutely fantastic - a super professional."

Middlesbrough Team News:

Chris Riggott is expected to keep his place in the starting XI after scoring in last weekend's win over Portsmouth.

Robert Huth is still sidelined with a foot problem meaning Riggott will partner David Wheater for Boro.

Gary O'Neil and Mido are long-term casualties for Gareth Southgate's men.

Jeremie Aliadiere could return to the side after recovering from a dead leg and Southgate may give some of his fringe players a chance to impress in their last home game of the campaign.

Player to watch: Alfonso Alves

City were linked heavily with this player and since joining Middlesbrough has given them a new dimension up front along with Tuncay.

Manchester City FC Team News:

City are still missing injured defensive duo Micah Richards and Nedum Onuoha, meaning Vedran Corluka will remain in central defence alongside Richard Dunne.

Bojinov is still out, Garrido may get a start as well, although I would like to see Shaleum Logan given the nod for left back with nothing really riding on the game.

Player to watch: Martin Petrov

As you will know by me choosing the Bulgarian once again I am a very big fan of his as probably the best traditional winger in the premier league at the moment as he hugs the touch line with such menace to deliver telling crosses.

Match Facts & Stats

After failing to beat Middlesbrough in the premier league prior to last season we can now do a double double over our dreaded bogey team and start to claw back the undeserved premiership statistic against City. One game Middlesbrough did not have one shot on target and yet came away with a win. They are also the only sad team to come to City and chant for United because their sorry little club has under achieved far worse than City's had and up until winning the league Cup a few season's ago had not won anything of note in their history.

A win for Middlesbrough could see them rise one place but a defeat could see them drop two if results go against them.

City are guaranteed a ninth place finish and could equal their best of eighth place, but would break their all time premiership record points finish total of 55 points.

Ref Watch:

Phil Dowd - this will be only his second game this season for both clubs. Quite a card happy referee; but as far as City go I think he has never had a very bad game for us although Luis Boa Morte was lucky not to get his marching orders for the second game in a row against us.

Match Prediction:

I think for a change it might be quite a reasonable game to watch; especially for City fans as I think the City players will have something to prove as regards Sven and will go out on a high with City having too much creativity and skill for Middlesbrough to cope with. MFC 1 - 3 MCFC.

Next Fixtures:

It is the end of the season and so our next fixture will be weekend of the 9th or the 16th August.




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The journalist

Writer: Gavin Cooper  Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday May 10 2008

Time: 4:45PM

Your Comments

I think the city players will be told no arguing, no tackles, just enjoy yourself. fabulous!!
Buzz Lightyear
THe players need go out there and look pretty! We might lose 6-0 but at least we would definately be in next seasons UEFA cup.
Tudor
I have just read that if City avoid any bookings against Boro then they will qualify for Europe through the Fair play league, can anyoone confiorm this?
Dean1
Yes Dean1 - confirmed.
Tudor
If Sun gets a Red Card tomorrow do you think Toxin will offer him an improved contract ???
alphieblues
If toxin gets his way according to one rumour it will be the two franks at COMS next season
Buzz Lightyear
I dont want to put a downer on this but City are well known for shooting themselves in the foot and snatching defeat from the jaws of victory on many occasions. Dont you just love being a city fan, we have had more ups and downs than a brides nightie. At the end of last season we were wondering if Ray Ranson or the yanks were going to buy the club and it turned out to be Frank and then we had the agonising over selling the shares and could he get enough and that was dragging on and we lost out on Franks first choice. Then there was the great debate of do we want Sven, and how rubbish he was, but I think he showed that he was a man of talent and that in the short time he had, to buy in players like Petrov, Elano and Corluka and we started playing like Brazil, it was fabulous to watch, fourth in the table and dreams of Europe nmext season. The double over Man yoo, more points than we ever had, no fears of relegation. I think it went to Franks head, if we had started rubbish and then finished strong I don't think SGE would have been in danger of losing his job. As it is if we give a good showing, the fans behave, the players respect the referee and dont get any reds and yellows, SGE will have over achieved in a season where if you would have asked most city fans if we would have settled for a top ten finish, you bet we would. I think my only disappointments we the defeats in both cups, but that is nothing new. The offside goal by Blackburn and the two games against Fulham where we had the advantage on both occasions. Thankyou Mr Eriksson, it has been a pleasure
Buzz Lightyear
 

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