Premier League Preview: Manchester City vs. Middlesbrough

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  • All-time series: 49W-27D-49L
  • First league match since 2009
  • Boro three points clear of drop

League-leading Manchester City meets up with ex-striker Alvaro Negredo and relegation-battling Middlesbrough at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday (Watch live, 11 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBC Sports).

City will be flying high after a 3-1 beatdown of Barcelona at the Etihad Stadium in Champions League play, following a 4-0 thumping of West Brom in PL play last weekend.

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Boro will feel good, too, having scooped its first win since August with a 2-0 win over Bournemouth on Saturday. It had been eight matches across all competitions since Aitor Karanka‘s team had posted victory.

Vincent Kompany could return for City, while Bacary Sagna is still no ready for action.

What they’re saying

Boro defender Antonio Barragan“We saw how they won against Barcelona this week, who are obviously a really good team. But each game is a different story. We have our own weapons to show. We are really hoping to take home a positive result.”

In-form City man Ilkay Gundogan“If you look at just my goals record, you’d have to say this is the best spell of my career, but I think I can improve my performances over the next few weeks – I’m still not playing at 100% because it does take time after being out of action for so long.”

Prediction

It’s a tall ask of Boro, though the visitors will have played one fewer match than City this week. Still, expect a relatively simple match with Pep Guardiola‘s men coming away with a 2-0 win.