Middlesbrough are looking for their first league double over Sunderland since the 2016-17 Premier League campaign.
Sunderland have won just two of their last 26 league visits to Middlesbrough (D8 L16), winning 1-0 in the 1996-97 season and 2-0 in 2005-06 campaign.
Middlesbrough lost 6-1 to Chelsea in their last game, the second leg of the League Cup semi-final. On the last 15 instances they have conceded six goals in a match, they have remained undefeated in their very next game (W8 D7) since last losing in September 1954 (lost 6-1 to Ipswich, then lost 3-0 to Rotherham).
Sunderland have only won one of their last nine away matches in the Championship (D3 L5), a 1-0 win at Hull City on Boxing Day.
Abdoullah Ba has assisted three goals in his last three Championship appearances – he only registered two assists in his first 52 league games for Sunderland.