Year Formed

1876

Stadium

Riverside Stadium

Capacity

34,742
 

Last 10 years league finishing positions

 
 

Best Season

2003/04

Their best recent football came in the early 2000s and in particular domestically in 2003/04 where they finished 11th and won the League Cup, 2004/05 where they finished 7th and in 2005/06 where they managed to sneak into the 2006 Europa League final, only to be pummelled by Sevilla.

 

How they fared last season

After eight long years exiled from the Premier League, Middlesbrough finally secured promotion with a second place Championship finish. But it was done the hard way – on goal difference – after a 1-1 final day draw with Brighton & Hove Albion. Boro had drawn their last four games and almost slipped out of the automatic promotion race but their impressive home form – with just two losses at Riverside Stadium – ultimately brought their reward.

63
number of goals
scored last season
31
number of goals
conceded last season
2
red cards
65
yellow cards
 

Team Strengths

While a title win is almost completely out of the question, the club returns with players who have top flight experience, including Stuart Downing, Victor Valdes and David Nugent.

Meshed with some promising young talent and you have a side that will not be easy to defeat.

Middlesbrough’s defence was miserly last season with an average of less than a goal per game and if they can repeat that trick against lower-half sides, they’ll pick up points.

 

Weaknesses

After a January window where most clubs opted not to strengthen their side, it seems like the pre-existing Premier League squads have begun their recruitment in earnest with some big money transfers.

Despite the quality pick-up of Valdes, ‘Boro still retain many players from last year’s Championship outing.

With the alarming drop-off of form towards the end of last season, Middlesbrough will need to bulk up in depth, particularly in midfield if they are to weather a difficult Premier League season.

Jordan Rhodes scored a heap of goals for the side last year too, but can he step up to Premier League level?

 

Formation

Aitor Karanka employs a 4-2-3-1 and during the Championship season refused to tinker with the system which sometimes meant Middlesbrough found it hard to break sides down despite being resolute out back.

 

Star Player

Victor Valdes.

Just two years ago the Spaniard was playing some of his best football for Barcelona alongside Messi, Suarez and Neymar - the famed “MSN”.

He notched up 535 games for the Catalan side and helped take them to 21 major titles, including six La Ligas and three Champions League.

Boro’s signing of the Spaniard, after a wasted year on the sidelines at Manchester United and on loan to Standard Liege, is a statement of intent and one of the biggest coups of the off-season.

 

Aitor Karanka

Manager

The Premier League might yet see another combustible figure in the form of the passionate Spaniard.

In March, the manager could have been out the door after a breakdown in communication with his players and chairman Steve Gibson.

But to his credit, results on the park spoke for themselves and promotion has all but healed old wounds.

The Premier League will be a punishing test for the inexperienced 42-year-old.