Things we are sort of guessing - Middlesbrough (A)

Four clean sheets in a row and zero correct predictions from the LYBP crew. We are all on a roll. So what do our writers make of Tuesday night’s trip to Boro? Apart from all being certain a certain northerner will score.

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Middlesbrough were a lot of people’s favourites to make an immediate return to the top flight, having kept most of their squad intact and making some astute signings during the summer. Having said that, keeping most of the Norwich squad ahead of last season didn’t wind up being such a great thing, so perhaps it’s not a massive surprise they had a somewhat sluggish start to life back in the Championship.

The Boro are unbeaten in five league matches though and are starting to hit their straps. Britt Assombalonga has scored five goals and he will be absolutely crucial if he manages to avoid injury as the season goes on. Garry Monk is an excellent coach who you could argue was poorly treated at Swansea and at Leeds, and he’ll be desperate to impose his team on the Championship for the second year in a row.

Let’s face it, Boro are going to be tough opposition and a stern test for our newfound defensive juggernaut. But are we up to the examination?

Fun fact

 Middlesbrough’s new signing Jonny Howson is a world-renowned pigeon fancier. He once rescued a pigeon from near-certain death during a football match, after which he was crowned Prince of the Pigeons, the highest pigeon honour ever to be bestowed on a human being. ZW

Predictions

 ZW: I am completely convinced that Jonny’s going to score and then celebrate like a demon, the complete opposite to his emotional non-celebration at Elland Road a couple of years ago. It’s going to be a really tricky game, but hey, this is the new Norwich, and we have some resolve and determination.

 Zoë Assumes: Let’s go for an incredibly hard-fought 1-1 draw. Fingers crossed!

CT: Boro away. Gulp. We don't usually fare so well in the North East, and this is about a big a test of our new hard core defence as we can get. Never before have we got five clean sheets in a row, and  I don't think we will be breaking that record tonight, especially with the in form Assombalonga leading their line and the prospect of James Husband in for Supermann (surely he is indestructible?). Zimmbo and Timmbo- get your game faces on. This is it. Defend like your lives, and every single Norwich fans lives, depend on it. No pressure.

Clare Calculates: We will make it tough for them, but the true Norwich fan in me can only see a 1-0 loss. Via Jonny, obvs (I now remind you I am totally shit at predictions. This is reverse psychology).

 RJ: ‘Boro sit in sixth, which with their £s, players and expectations is surely the bare minimum requirement. Jonny Howson’s not been at his best for them by all accounts, that is until Saturday when he was the MOTM in the draw at Fulham. He’s bound to score the winner for them against us innit tho? Apropos of nothing, I can’t bear Gary Monk. I think it’s his nostrils.

Rich Reckons: Our unbeaten run comes to an end at the Riverside. Chicken Parmos 1 (Howson) - Hühnchenschnitzel 0.

SW: This’ll be a proper ‘Can he do it on a cold Tuesday night in…’ sort of game. The question of quality often goes out the door on such occasions, and it will come down to who wants it most. I’ve got a sneaky feeling, that despite injuries to key players, we’ll be well up for it. Our defensive solidity is heartening, and to silence the top-scorers last Saturday is no small feat. Sure, Mr Jerome up top doesn’t fill you with all that much hope, but deep down, he knows – indeed, we know – he can score goals. Especially against Middlesbrough.

Seb Foresees: A tricky, niggly, lucky 2-1 win with Cameron Jerome shushing the Boro fans. One. Last. Time.

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