* The unofficial "Official" Matchday Thread an Magazine v Preston North End *

r00fie1

Well-known member
Its that time again........
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Welcome to all Boro fans around the planet - and those farther afield.(y)
There were lots of positives to be taken from Saturday`s match v Millwall: aside from the ref, the lads were buying into Chris Wilder`s system of play. Noticably, little of the "hoof ball" we`ve necome acustomed to. Tav excelled, playing in his natural position and all the players appeared to have a renewed "zip" in their play. Duncan Watmore must be on roller-skates! He must have covered every blade of grass - twice! Andraz showed how important he is to the team, with some crucial runs and passes - until his injury. Forward! Forward seemed to be the mentality - a refreshing change. OK, it was far from the ideal performance and there were some areas which clearly need improvement - which Chris Wilder wont have missed. Its early days in his tenure and players cant be expected to adapt and learn a new approach in the first two weeks.

Tonight`s opponents - Preston North End, are a typical Championship side: they can beat anyone on their day. They are an organised unit with some experienced pro`s mixed in with younger players, loanees and home grown talent. No "big" expensive signings - but definitely no pushover. Tonight, underneath the floodlights, wont be any different. Every game is a "tough" game - its called The Championship and we are told everyone wants to get promoted? The Premiership may have the money, but the Second tier has more excitement and challenges - in my opinion. But hey-ho, wilders first home win would be a good result. So lets go for it!



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Tonight`s Fixtures [Tuesday 23rd November 2021]

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Championship Table:

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Preview: Middlesbrough vs. Preston North End - prediction, team news, lineups​

By Darren Plant, Senior Reporter | 1d
Great Britain
English



Middlesbrough play host to Preston North End on Tuesday night looking for the victory which could move them back into the top half of the Championship standings.However, should 16th-placed Preston prevail at the Riverside Stadium, they will progress a point ahead of their North-East hosts.


Match preview

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder pictured on March 6, 2021
© Reuters
As opening games go for your first match at a new club, Chris Wilder would have been delighted with a home fixture against Millwall, a team who also find themselves as outsiders for the playoffs.

The signs were there that Boro would record a win for the replacement for Neil Warnock, but Sol Bamba's own goal cancelled out Matt Crooks's earlier strike.

Boro have now gone four games without success, while the gap to sixth-placed Queens Park Rangers now stands at six points.
Nevertheless, Wilder was full of praise for his squad, acknowledging after the contest that he is trying to instill a new style of play.
While another game three days later will be tough on the legs, Wilder will recognise that Boro have a great opportunity to regain some momentum in the race for the playoffs.

Preston North End manager Frankie McAvoy on October 23, 2021

Frankie McAvoy will be of a similar opinion to his opposite number as Preston look to bounce back from successive defeats.
Preston were on a huge high when they stunned Bournemouth earlier this month, but back-to-back setbacks against Nottingham Forest and Cardiff City have left North End down in 16th spot.

Losing to the Bluebirds on Saturday was particularly frustrating after they had taken a second-minute lead, Sean Maguire finally registering his first league goal of the season.

That represented just their second home defeat in nine games, a record in sharp contrast to Preston collecting just six points from the same amount of fixtures on the road.

Middlesbrough Championship form:
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • D
  • D
Preston North End Championship form:
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • L


Team News​

Duncan Watmore celebrates scoring for Middlesbrough against Huddersfield Town in the Championship on February 16, 2021
© Reuters
Having felt that his players tired during the latter stages against Millwall, Wilder will consider making changes to his Middlesbrough XI.

Onel Hernandez is an option for the wing-back positions, while Neil Taylor may be given a chance after signing on a free transfer.
Uche Ikpeazu and Josh Coburn are alternatives in the final third with Duncan Watmore most likely to drop out.

McAvoy will also likely make alterations to his Preston side with Josh Earl and Daniel Johnson both in contention for recalls.
Liam Lindsay, who has not played in the Championship since the start of October, will also hope for an opportunity in defence.

Middlesbrough possible starting lineup:
Daniels; McNair, Bamba, Peltier; Jones, Crooks, Howson, Tavernier, Bola; Sporar, Watmore
Preston North End possible starting lineup:

Iversen; Van den Berg, Bauer, Hughes; Barkhuizen, Ledson, McCann, Earl; Johnson; Maguire, Jakobsen


SM words green background


We say: Middlesbrough 2-1 Preston North End​

With neither team being in great form, they will both be eager to use this game as the catalyst for greater things to come. While Preston still have the win at Bournemouth fresh in their memory, we expect Boro to edge this contest by the odd goal in three.

r00fie say: 2-0 Boro [But what do I know?!]




Flashback:
1-1 draw for Middlesbrough against Preston at The Riverside in January 2011. Here we see Matthew Bates' 71st minute goal for Boro - decent finish from outside the penalty area following a mazy dribble.


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The Frank McAvoy View:

Frankie McAvoy has regrets from the weekend defeat but is focused on Middlesbrough trip​

Preston North End have a big few days ahead as they attempt to put the Deepdale defeat to Cardiff behind them.​

The manner of the 2-1 loss against the Bluebirds led to booing at the final whistle, PNE having surrendered a half-time lead and allowed their visitors to boss large parts of the second half.

Frankie McAvoy, who was again subjected to fierce criticism from fans, takes his side to Middlesbrough tomorrow night.Then it is back to Deepdale on Saturday lunchtime to face free-scoring Fulham in front of the Sky cameras.

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Head coach McAvoy was rueful at the way the Cardiff game panned out.

Sean Maguire’s goal inside 90 seconds was the start of a decent display in the first half.

But things went badly wrong after half-time, Cardiff bringing James Collins off the bench really unsettling PNE.
The Welsh side scored with two headers from set-pieces, Collins getting the winner.

McAvoy said: “They made one change at half-time, Collins came on and for some reason that made it a bit more difficult for us.

“We weren’t brave enough at times to get on the ball when we were 1-0 up.

“Sometimes you need to be able to do that, it’s not just a case of clearing your lines and hoping that something happens from there.

“There were a couple of times when players got into good areas and then gave the ball away which was unlike them – that was disappointing.

“Once we were chasing the game you hoped we would have enough quality to unlock them but unfortunately we didn’t have that.”

McAvoy said Cardiff’s winner was the first goal PNE had conceded from a corner this season.
The equaliser had come from a free-kick delivered into the middle.

Said McAvoy: “That’s the first goal we have conceded from a corner.

“Collins gets above Andrew Hughes and Patrick Bauer, while Daniel Iversen is caught in an area you don’t want your goalkeeper to be in.

“In the main we have defended set pieces really well but on this occasion we didn’t.

“For the first goal we have got done at the back stick where Mark McGuinness gets the better of Sepp van den Berg two or three yards out.”

PNE had one chance at 1-1 to restore their lead, Ryan Ledson having a shot saved.
But they created nothing after falling behind.

“In hindsight we could have put DJ on earlier, maybe we could have changed it earlier when we were under the cosh.

“That is something I have to look at myself.”

McAvoy said: “We had Emil Riis up there, we put Scotty Sinclair on as well, we brought DJ on.

“In hindsight we could have put DJ on earlier, maybe we could have changed it earlier when we were under the cosh.

“That is something I have to look at myself.”



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Boro v Preston Record:
22 Jan 2011Middlesbrough v Preston North EndD1-1League Championship
25 Sep 2012Preston North End v MiddlesbroughW1-3League Cup
26 Aug 2014Middlesbrough v Preston North EndW3-1League Cup
09 Aug 2015Preston North End v MiddlesbroughD0-0League Championship
09 Apr 2016Middlesbrough v Preston North EndW1-0League Championship
26 Aug 2017Middlesbrough v Preston North EndD0-0League Championship
01 Jan 2018Preston North End v MiddlesbroughW2-3League Championship
25 Sep 2018Preston North End v MiddlesbroughW2-2League Cup
27 Nov 2018Preston North End v MiddlesbroughD1-1League Championship
13 Mar 2019Middlesbrough v Preston North EndL1-2League Championship
01 Oct 2019Middlesbrough v Preston North EndD1-1League Championship
01 Jan 2020Preston North End v MiddlesbroughW0-2League Championship
09 Dec 2020Preston North End v MiddlesbroughL3-0League Championship
16 Mar 2021Middlesbrough v Preston North EndW2-0League Championship

Source: https://www.11v11.com/teams/middlesbrough/tab/opposingTeams/opposition/Preston North End/
 
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r00fie1

Well-known member
Match Summary:
Courtesy Flash Score: https://www.flashscore.co.uk/match/pAFnVIE6/#match-summary

The Chris Wilder era began at Middlesbrough with a 1-1 draw against Millwall last time out, and though it was an unremarkable game, Boro’s performance boosted optimistic feelings around the new regime. Now familiarised with the man from the ‘Steel City’, Middlesbrough will need to show their mettle if they are to grind out results and nail a top-six finish.

History demands a winner either way, as none of Wilder’s previous five managerial H2Hs with Preston have ended level (W3, L2). Middlesbrough will pray for a fourth win in that record, given that they are without a victory in four league games (D2, L2), which includes two winless home games.

Visitors Preston North End squandered a lead to lose 2-1 against a resurgent Cardiff side in their previous game. That result left them below Middlesbrough in the table and well off the playoff pace.

However, manager Frankie McAvoy knows that can all change quickly, especially if his side can claim only a second victory at the Riverside in over a decade.

Perhaps the biggest detriment to Preston’s faint playoff hopes has been their woeful away form. The off-colour ‘Lilywhites’ have won just one away league game this season (W1, D3, L5), and picked up their joint-fewest away points at this stage across the last 14 seasons. The only comparable season was 2018/19, when they had also recorded six at this stage.

Players to watch: All five of Matt Crooks’ goal involvements since joining Middlesbrough have come in home games (G4, A1) and two of his four goals were headers. For Preston, Emil Riis has made one or more goal contributions in each of their last six victories. He also scored and assisted in the final ten minutes of a win over Middlesbrough last season.

Hot stat: Two-thirds of Boro’s league games this season have produced exactly two match goals




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Flashback:

Preston North End v Middlesbrough 2005-06 Cup R5 YAKUBU GOAL



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Beyond our Wilderest Dreams.....
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From the Hot Seat:

Latest update form Chris Wilder`s media conference on Monday 22nd November. Here, Chris answers some questions about the challenges facing players and his plans for transfers in January.

Middlesbrough's January plan, making use of contacts & challenge to players already at club

Chris Wilder talks at length about how Boro will approach the January transfer window
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Chris Wilder already knows who and what he wants in the January transfer window and is "really excited" about how his Boro squad could look.

Wilder believes his contacts and Kieran Scott's superb recruitment record stands Boro in good stead not just in January but for many windows to come.

And while he admits exits are likely in the winter window, he has issued a challenge to his current players: Prove to me you should be part of the long-term plan.

Wilder's immediate focus is obviously the coming stretch of games in the Championship, with the boss still very much targeting a top six push this term. But since they first met to discuss his Boro appointment, Wilder and Scott have had an eye on January and how they will strengthen the squad.

Not for the first time, Wilder hinted that he could look at the Premier League loan market, with the boss having added to his already bulky contact book during his time in the top flight with Sheffield United.

He obviously wouldn't reveal his targets, but Wilder admitted that he already has specific players in mind for the roles he believes need filling.

“We’ve got position-specific targets, and they’ve got to fill what I believe those positions need. Out of respect, I’m not going to start naming players, and I won’t even name positions, but we are certainly targeting people, and you’re doing your work," said the manager.

"Kieran’s work is very important in this process. He’s had fabulous success in the past in terms of his work at Burnley, which went unnoticed regarding the promotion from the Championship to the Premier League, and then two more promotion successes for Norwich City as well. His ambition is obviously to continue that work, and I’m working very closely with him.

"That’s a lot of the work I’m doing at the moment. Obviously, there’s work on the training ground with myself and Alan (Knill), there’s the physical work we need to be putting into the players, which is difficult with a three-game week, but we’re also taking a medium-term look of how we want it to look in January. We’re really excited about how it could look.

"I do believe this is an attractive place for players to come as well, whether they’re young loan players, which is important – we target that market and have great contacts – or whether it’s the other market (permanent signings) as well to make us better. It’s really important that we get players in that fit the style and fit the system."

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Kieran Scott watches on at the Riverside (Image: CameraSport - Mick Walker)

On his wealth of contacts, Wilder continued: “They come from over 20 years. There’s no snobbery in terms of where I get the players from, as you’ve seen in the past. I took a boy of League Two who wasn’t getting a game, on a free transfer, and he turned out to be one of my best signings. It’s a wealth of contacts, a wealth of experience between the coaching staff, myself and Alan and Kieran, and definitely contacts out of the Premier League.

"We went about our business the right way (at Sheffield United), respectful of who we were playing against, and it was a great experience for two years. We met some fabulous guys that I’m sure will look now, with myself and Alan coming into Middlesbrough, and Kieran as well, and say, ‘Yeah, I don’t mind sending my young players there because I know what they’re going to get and I know how they’re going to be treated’. Then you’ve got the facilities, ground, support – and everything that’s attached to this football club. We’ll look after the players, and make their players better, which we have done in the past."

Although Wilder and Scott hadn't previously worked together before linking up on Teesside the manager has long been aware of Boro's head of football.

“We (him and Scott) crossed over a bit in terms of recruitment, with players he got that I was after previously or that my recruitment team signed and he was after," said Wilder.

"It’s a similar sort of mindset, and a similar idea of how we want the players to look, from every mindset and every angle. It’s a healthy environment. I’m going to ask the question to make the club better, I am. 24-7. I’m going to voice my opinion, not in an arrogant way, but I am because I want us all to be better.

"Every aspect of this football club, I want to raise the bar with. That’s what I’ve always tried to do. There’ll be fall-outs, and there’ll be disagreements, I understand that. Through myself, Neil Bausor, Kieran and the owner, we’re all after the same result. We’ll all have different ways of going about it, and different opinions. I’ll respect theirs, and I’m sure they’ll respect mine, because it’s an honest one, and it’s to make the club better."

To make room for the January arrivals, Wilder admits players will leave Boro in the coming window but what he hasn't done is come to any immediate conclusions on who those departing players will be. And even if he does have early doubts about some, they can soon change his mind.

He said: “First impressions are huge, and that applies to my impression on them as well as there’s on me. I’m all eyes, I’m all ears, and I’m looking all the time. I’m watching their attitude and what they bring to the football club in loads of different areas. I’m going to be making changes, but I’d be delighted if there’s someone in the group that from a distance I think might not fit, but then that all of a sudden, they do things to make me change my mind.

"It happens. It’s happened at previous clubs, and it’ll happen here. It’s over to the players to catch our eye. We have a staff meeting every day, and we’ll come in and talk about our opinion of people. We reflect every day. Who’s caught the eye, how have they been, what’s that player been like through the week? We’re always talking and assessing.

"We don’t have to make any kneejerk reactions because of the six weeks we’ve got, but we will be forming a view and I already have a view on certain things. I’ve looked back and seen a lot of the games, and already know a lot of the players because of the division that I’ve worked in."



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r00fie1

Well-known member
Under The Floodlights:

Sean Maguire [PNE]

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Bio:
D.o.B: 02/05/1994
Country: Eire

Sean Maguire signed for PNE in the summer of 2017 from Cork City in Ireland after a compensation package was agreed between the two clubs.
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The forward agreed a three-year deal at Deepdale but initially remained at Cork for two more months as the English league season had finished and Cork were leading the title race.
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Maguire arrived in PR1 knowing some former teammates would welcome him as both Daryl Horgan and Andy Boyle played alongside him when they won the league with Dundalk, and he’d also previously played with Alan Browne internationally.
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Maguire made a flying start to life at PNE, scoring ten goals in 24 games in the 2017/18 season, with two of them strikes coming on his return from injury in a famous Gentry Day victory away at Bolton Wanderers.
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Injuries then disrupted his second season with the Lilywhites, before he then played all but two Championship games in 2019/20, scoring five goals that term.
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Maguire initially started out at Waterford United scoring 14 goals in 34 games before moving to West Ham United. A couple of loan spells followed with Sligo Rovers and Accrington Stanley before a permanent move to Dundalk.

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Cork were his next team and where he really found his form - 36 goals were scored in 48 games by the time PNE snapped him up. He finished as top scorer in the division with 18 goals in his first season at Cork City and was a part of their Europa League qualifying campaign in his second.
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Seani has also represented the Republic of Ireland national team 11 times as of June 2021, scoring once in a friendly against New Zealand.

Playing career
Courtesy of wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sean_Maguire_(footballer)

Maguire Bio.jpg
 

r00fie1

Well-known member
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Uche Ikpeazu on his way in January?
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Middlesbrough are ready to listen to offers for
striker Uche Ikpeazu in January, Football Insider
has learned.
New manager Chris Wilder is planning to recruit
a new centre-forward when the winter window opens.
A Boro source has told Football Insider that Wilder
has given the green light for Ikpeazu to leave in the
New Year.

middlesbrough-in-january/


If you want an amusing sideways-view of the Boro and all the games: these two lads are well worth a listen​

The Boropolis Podcast - #13​

Boro v Preston / Huddersfield
Chris and Nathan are back after the international break with another episode of the Boropolis podcast. This week they dissect all of the action from Chris Wilder's first game. They also answer listener questions and preview a busy week ahead for Boro with Preston and Huddersfield on the horizon.

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Laughing

Well-known member
Some exciting news roofie. I have added a neural net that has been trained to calculate home win, draw or away win. The system was trained on 5,000 results and tested on 256 unknown results. That algorithm is now ready. The results for testing are shown here:

stats.png

The confidence is how confident the algorithm is of it's prediction, which goes from -1 to +1 and usually sits between 0.1 and 0.9. The closer to 1 it is the more confident it is of being correct. the charts above show the test results with any confidence, i.e. ALL results, with a confidence of above 0.7, above 0.6 and above 0.55.

Ignoring confidence the algorithm drops back to just above chance, which is a 33% strike rate. The algorithm gets 37% of the matches right. I could manage that I suspect with little or no study.

Where it gets interesting is the 3 other charts where the strike rate goes to 67%, 65.5% and 83% for above 0.55, above 0.6 and above 0.7 respectively. It has not been tested on enough data yet and those numbers may fall to a mean over time. The above 0.7 is stunningly good but only 12 matches of the 200 odd were predicted at that level of confidence. Too few to draw conclusions. In fact the testing data set is too small to draw any conclusions but I will post the championship games when boro play for those that are interested in what AI can do with predicting sports outcomes.

All tonights leage 1, 2, and championship games are here:

results.png
The 3rd last column is the prediction 1, 2, 3 for home, draw and away respectively. The second last column is the confidence and the last column were the Betfair back prices for the predicted results. I have only done these for the champo games and the ones that have a high enough confidence to be of interest, and these are for my own calculations. Do NOT bet on these, there has not been enough testing.

Boro are predicted to win tonight but with a very low confidence (sound familiar?).

reading v sheffield united looks interesting, I would have gone home win on this one. The second interesting one is how little confidence the algorithm is of a west brom win.

Outside of the championship there is one prediction that stands out a mile Argyle v Wycombe. With a confidence of over 0.8. Argyle may well win, it wouldn't be a surprise, but the algorithm can't see much but an Argyle win.

Anyway make of this what you will, it's meant to be a bit of fun yet, there is no where near enough testing been done yet to confirm whether this even works.
 

r00fie1

Well-known member
Some exciting news roofie. I have added a neural net that has been trained to calculate home win, draw or away win. The system was trained on 5,000 results and tested on 256 unknown results. That algorithm is now ready. The results for testing are shown here:

View attachment 28442

The confidence is how confident the algorithm is of it's prediction, which goes from -1 to +1 and usually sits between 0.1 and 0.9. The closer to 1 it is the more confident it is of being correct. the charts above show the test results with any confidence, i.e. ALL results, with a confidence of above 0.7, above 0.6 and above 0.55.

Ignoring confidence the algorithm drops back to just above chance, which is a 33% strike rate. The algorithm gets 37% of the matches right. I could manage that I suspect with little or no study.

Where it gets interesting is the 3 other charts where the strike rate goes to 67%, 65.5% and 83% for above 0.55, above 0.6 and above 0.7 respectively. It has not been tested on enough data yet and those numbers may fall to a mean over time. The above 0.7 is stunningly good but only 12 matches of the 200 odd were predicted at that level of confidence. Too few to draw conclusions. In fact the testing data set is too small to draw any conclusions but I will post the championship games when boro play for those that are interested in what AI can do with predicting sports outcomes.

All tonights leage 1, 2, and championship games are here:

View attachment 28443
The 3rd last column is the prediction 1, 2, 3 for home, draw and away respectively. The second last column is the confidence and the last column were the Betfair back prices for the predicted results. I have only done these for the champo games and the ones that have a high enough confidence to be of interest, and these are for my own calculations. Do NOT bet on these, there has not been enough testing.

Boro are predicted to win tonight but with a very low confidence (sound familiar?).

reading v sheffield united looks interesting, I would have gone home win on this one. The second interesting one is how little confidence the algorithm is of a west brom win.

Outside of the championship there is one prediction that stands out a mile Argyle v Wycombe. With a confidence of over 0.8. Argyle may well win, it wouldn't be a surprise, but the algorithm can't see much but an Argyle win.

Anyway make of this what you will, it's meant to be a bit of fun yet, there is no where near enough testing been done yet to confirm whether this even works.
Thank you flower - a scientific and welcome addition for tonights game.
Im beginning to understand what "algorithm`s" are now (y)
But take your time....
 
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