Writer: Gavin Cooper
Date:Saturday May 10 2008
11th May 2008
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.
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."
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.
City were linked heavily with this player and since joining Middlesbrough has given them a new dimension up front along with Tuncay.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
It is the end of the season and so our next fixture will be weekend of the 9th or the 16th August.
Date:Saturday May 10 2008
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