​The battle for Premier League survival is well and truly on at the bottom of the table as relegation threatened Swansea City take on seemingly relegation bound Middlesbrough at the Liberty Stadium on Sunday afternoon. 


It is a must win for both sides with the home side positioned 17th in the table - three points above the relegation zone - and five points and two places above Middlesbrough. 


Winless in 2017, Boro will be desperate for the three points to keep them  within touching distance of safety.


Classic Encounter

Middlesbrough v Swansea City - Premier League

In what was only the side's fourth meeting in the top flight of English football, the reverse fixture saw Middlesbrough record a comfortable 3-0 victory after a first half double from Alvaro  Negrado, and a second half strike from Marten de Roon which sealed the victory at the Riverside.


It was Boro's fourth win since promotion from the Championship which moved them up to 14th in the Premier League table, whilst Swansea slipped one place down to 19th position half way through the campaign. 


Key Battle

Middlesbrough back-line vs Gylfi Sigurdsson

FBL-ENG-PR-MAN CITY-SWANSEA

Sigurdsson's influence is pivotal to this Swansea side, eight goals and eleven assists so far this season have contributed to over half of Swansea's goals. If the 27-year-old is allowed to freely roam on Sunday his influence could prove costly to the visitors. 


The entire Middlesbrough defence will need to limit the space Sigurdsson operates in, in order to nulify his threat and limit his range of movement in the half-spaces if they are to record their first league victory in 2017.   


Team News

Martin Olsson will be given until the last minute to prove his fitness from an ankle injury. Kyle Naughton also looks set to have recovered from a hamstring strain which sidelined him for his side's defeat to Bournemouth.

Chelsea v Swansea City - Premier League

Dani Ayala has missed Middlesbrough's last two games due to hamstring strain sustained in the loss to Stoke however, he has trained this week and could be in contention for a place in the match-day squad. 


Whilst George Friend and Calum Chambers are still facing length layoffs due to a calf injury and stress fracture in the foot respectively. 


Predicted Lineups

Swansea City (4-3-3): Fabianski, Olsoon, Mawson, Fernandez, Naughton, Carroll, Cork, Fer, Sigurdsson, Llorente, Ayew


Middlesbrough (4-3-3): Valdes, Fabio, Gibson, Bernardo, Barragan, Leadbitter, Clayton, de Roon, Ramirez, Negredo, Downing 


Prediction

Swansea City v Burnley - Premier League

Swansea have won three successive Premier League home games and have scored in all but one of their games since 14th January, whilst Middlesbrough have scored just once in their last five league games. 


As Boro have recorded only one away league win this seasons - in August against Sunderland - their confidence has taken numerous blows and Swansea's organisation under Paul Clement will prove too much on Sunday afternoon.


Swansea City 2 - 0 Middlesbrough


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