The team’s wastefulness against Derby and the lack of cutting edge against Millwall, means we are not heading into the game against Middlesbrough in the best possible shape in the final third of the pitch.
After scoring four against Ipswich, as well as creating chances against the Rams, you could say there isn’t a great deal to worry about, but we will be facing a Tony Pulis side.
To avoid being Pulised, we have to be at it from the off, and as sharp as possible up top. Unfortunately, our top scorers Albert Adomah and Conor Hourihane have been having a bit of a wobble recently.
Albert started the last two matches as Steve Bruce tried to get our no.37 back into form, but his last goal came all the way back in mid-March against Wolves. It is a major concern.
Conor has fewer problems in front of goal. He will always be a threat, but his all round game hasn’t been up to scratch in recent weeks, and there has been talk of Josh Onomah or even Birkir Bjarnason coming in alongside Jack Grealish in the middle.
With that being the case, a lot of pressure could be placed on Lewis Grabban. The 30-year-old has been excellent in recent weeks, but we will need more than one goal threat if we are to break through the Pulis defensive setup, which we’ll surely come up against in both legs.
It’s one of the reasons why Jonathan Kodjia’s name has been bandied around despite the fact that our no.22 has failed to score since his return from a lengthy spell out with an ankle injury.
He would no doubt provide a direct attacking threat against Boro, but his time spent on the left-hand side last time out against Millwall didn’t fill me with confidence. He would probably have to come into the side centrally with Lewis being shunted out wide.
While that wouldn’t be the worst plan in the world, we need as many players on the pitch as possible who have scored on a regular basis this season. For that reason, my front line for Saturday would Adomah – Grabban and Snodgrass. How about you?