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Tussle between the top two: Burnley v Middlesbrough

19 April 2016

Burnley versus Middlesbrough. Dyche versus Karanka. Second versus first.

Tuesday's Football League schedule has thrown up some enticing fixtures, none more so than at Turf Moor where the Sky Bet Championship's top two collide.

The visiting Boro are two points clear of the Clarets so know a win would see them gain a commanding lead, but a home victory would see Sean Dyche's side hit the summit.

Recent form

A 2-1 success over Birmingham City last time out saw Burnley extend their unbeaten run to 19 matches. Goals either side of half-time from George Boyd and Andre Gray secured the three points.

Burnley's last five: DDDWW

Middlesbrough were also 2-1 victors, against Bolton Wanderers, for their sixth successive win. Jordan Rhodes scored Boro's two to complete a second-half turnaround after they initially fell behind.

Boro haven't won seven in a row since May 1987.

Middlesbrough's last five: WWWWW

Head-to-head

Burnley are winless in their last five league games against Middlesbrough, losing four of those, but they did win 2-1 at the Riverside earlier this year in the FA Cup.

There has been just three goals in the last four league meetings between these two, with Boro scoring them all.

Overall

Burnley wins: 24
Middlesbrough wins: 23
Draws: 17

View from the dugouts

Burnley boss Sean Dyche: “It’s another important game and they all are. It has a different feeling to it because it’s one and two in the division.

"It still comes down to us delivering a performance and we want the lads to go out there with shoulders back, ready to go with all the information we need.

"It’s helpful we’re at Turf Moor with the fans behind us. The fans have been superb all season and it’s almost no matter what happens the fans are with us.

"That’s a really important factor. I spoke when I got here about a one club mentality and the connection between the fans and the players. It’s solid as a rock here and we need that."

Boro boss Aitor Karanka: "It’s a big game, especially because they’re one of our direct rivals for promotion.

"It’s impossible in this league to know what’s going to happen in two or three weeks because in the two years I’ve been here I’ve learnt that anything can change in two days.

"We just have to handle the following game and that’s Burnley. It’s a really important game but we’re in a really good position."

Don't miss it!

Follow @SkyBetChamp for goal updates from Turf Moor, where the Sky Bet Championship's top two go head-to-head.

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