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Middlesbrough vs Leicester – Match Preview

Courtesy of BBC Sport:

Middlesbrough defender Antonio Barragan is available after serving a one-match suspension in Saturday’s defeat at Manchester United.

Boro boss Aitor Karanka will consider making changes after 90 intense minutes at Old Trafford, with Gaston Ramirez likely to be recalled.

Leicester forward Jamie Vardy remains out as he completes a three-match ban.

Islam Slimani and Riyad Mahrez are available for the last time before the Africa Cup of Nations.



  • Leicester are unbeaten in 13 meetings since a 1-0 Premier League away defeat in March 2002 (W6, D7).
  • However, the Foxes have gone six Premier League games without a victory against Boro since a 3-0 away triumph in November 2000. They needed a stoppage-time penalty from Islam Slimani to earn a 2-2 draw in this season’s reverse fixture.


  • Boro have lost four of their last five league games.
  • Nonetheless, they could win consecutive Premier League home matches in the same season for the first time since their opening two fixtures at the Riverside Stadium in 2008-09.
  • Aitor Karanka’s side could also keep successive Premier League home clean sheets for the first time since a run of three in a row from January to February 2009.
  • There have only been 19 league goals scored at the Riverside this season, fewer than at any other Premier League ground.

Leicester City

  • Leicester have not won their first Premier League match of the calendar year in the last 10 attempts (D6, L4).
  • They could become the first reigning champions to lose eight of their opening 10 away matches.
  • Claudio Ranieri’s side have gone 11 Premier League away games without a win, drawing four and losing seven.
  • The Foxes have already conceded 21 away goals this season, three more than in their entire title-winning campaign.
  • They kept a first clean sheet in 12 Premier League games when beating West Ham 1-0 on New Year’s Eve.
  • Islam Slimani has scored 15 of his 33 league goals since the start of 2015-16 from headers.

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