It’s been a rough couple of weeks for the Swans, who have found themselves on the end of two defeats against relegation rivals in their last two outings.

A game against Middlesbrough this weekend could all-but relegate the Yorkshire based side, who have struggled to find any sort of form in front of goal this season.

I spoke to life-long Boro fan Josh Frankland ahead of the game:

Name – Josh Frankland

Age – 22

Q: You beat us 3-0 at the Riverside when we last met back in December. You haven’t won a game in the Premier League since then; why do you think that is?

Some might say it was a bit of a fluke result, but there was a bit more belief around the club at that point. Karanka wasn’t changing things and injuries to our solid defence meant we were no longer able to keep clean sheets, even the 0-0s were no longer coming our way. Our inability to score is ultimately our downfall. Most Boro fans will be praying for 2 up top on Sunday!

Q: As a Middlesbrough fan, who has been your standout player this season?

I’d give it to Ben Gibson. Through all our struggles he’s been the one stand out performer and he rightly got an England call-up. Boro through and through, so there’s never a lack of fight.

Q: Is there anybody in particular you think Paul Clement should be wary of on Saturday? Is there anybody showing particularly good form?

Although this may come as a bit of a surprise I’d say Rudy Gestede. Hopefully him and Negredo will start together as we looked a new team when they paired for the first time towards the back end of the United game.

Q: Likewise, is there anybody in the Swansea team who you think you will identify as a key threat?

I’ve always been a massive fan of Gylfi Sigurdsson, someone I’d love at Boro, of course!

Q: You’re currently five points below us in the league. Do you see this game as a ‘must win’?

If we lose we’re down there’s no doubt about it. This is the biggest game since we got promoted against Brighton last season. It’s definitely a make or break game.

Q: Given your recruitment in the Summer, are you surprised with the lack of goals you have scored this season?

At the start of the season I was quite optimistic. Negredo was such an exciting signing for a newly promoted club. There was always a worry about creativity and we sold Adomah, in hindsight, a huge mistake.

Q: Speaking of goals, do you think enough was done in January to solve your problems in the final third?

January was a massive let down. Bamford is a cult hero, but nowhere near good enough. Gestede was struggling to get in a championship side, however, credit where it’s due he’s doing okay!

Q: Are there any weaknesses in your side you think we could exploit?

It’s been well documented that at the back we’re pretty solid, but at the moment we’re struggling. Since Chambers has been injured it’s not been great. Barragan at right-back is somewhat of a liability and Espinosa simply isn’t very good.

Q: How do you think you’ll line up this weekend?

I think we’ll go with a 4-4-2, and line up something like this:

Valdes

Barragan Ayala Gibson Fabio

Ramirez Clayton De Roon Downing

Negredo Gestede

Q: What’s your score prediction for the game?

1-1.

Q: And finally, what three teams do you think will face the drop this season?

No change! Sunderland, Hull and unfortunately, Boro.

Big thanks to Josh for speaking to us! You can see more of his views on Middlesbrough on Twitter here, and over at ReadMiddlesbrough.

 

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