Recent form is perhaps not worth reading into for this game as both teams have known their fate for weeks now and have been resting players ahead of the play-offs.
In the league this season, Villa finished seven points ahead of Middlesbrough, scoring more and conceding fewer goals than Tony Pulis's side.
|Game||Middlesbrough vs Aston Villa|
|Date||Saturday, May 12|
|Time||5:15pm BST / 12:15pm ET|
TV Channel, Live Stream & How to Watch
In the United States (US), the game can be watched on ESPN+.
|US TV channel||Online stream|
In the United Kingdom (UK), the game can be watched live on TV on Sky Sports Football and it can be streamed live online using Sky Go.
|UK TV channel||Online stream|
|Sky Sports Football||Sky Go|
Squads & Team News
|Goalkeepers||Konstantopoulos, Randolph, Mejias|
|Defenders||Fabio, Friend, Ayala, Shotton, Gibson, Fry, Cranie|
|Midfielders||Leadbitter, Besic, Baker, Harrison, Howson, Downing, Clayton|
|Forwards||Bamford, Traore, Assombalonga, Gestede|
Middlesbrough should have a fully-fit squad barring Rudy Gestede who has been out with a broken ankle since February.
Predicted Middlesbrough starting XI: Randolph; Shotton, Ayala, Gibson, Friend; Clayton, Traore, Besic, Howson, Downing, Assombalonga.
|Position||Aston Villa Players|
|Goalkeepers||Johnstone, Bunn, Steer|
|Defenders||Terry, Taylor, Chester, Samba, Hutton, Elmohamady, Tuanzebe, Bree, Richards|
|Midfielders||Whelan, Snodgrass, Hourihane, Snodgrass, Jedinak, Onomah, Green, Bjarnason, Adomah|
|Forwards||Kodjia, McCormack, Davis, Grabban, O'Hare, Agbonlahor, Hogan|
Birkir Bjarnason will be fit having sat out of Villa’s final-day defeat at Millwall following a back problem.
Neil Taylor suffered a hamstring injury against Derby County and will miss the first leg.
Meanwhile, Jed Steer (shoulder) and Axel Tuanzebe (foot) are going to miss this match.
Predicted Aston Villa starting XI: Johnstone; Elmohamady, Chester, Terry, Hutton, Whelan, Snodgrass, Grealish, Hourihane, Adomah, Grabban.
Betting & Match Odds
Middlesbrough are fancied to make home advantage count in the first leg and are 11/8 with dabblebet to win, while Aston Villa are 11/5 to win with the draw 2/1.
The two sides seem impossible to split coming into this game and promises to be a battle of two experienced squads and two managers who have been here more times than they can remember.
Steve Bruce has achieved more promotions to the Premier League than anyone else and Tony Pulis's brand of football is made for the play-offs as he has made a career out of grinding results and keeping clean sheets when it matters.
The game could be won and lost in the defence as, while the likes of John Terry boast the experience, the pace of Britt Assombalonga and Adama Traore has the potential to cause danger.
Both league games were cagey affairs, with the first a 0-0 draw and the second saw Villa win by virtue of a Robert Snodgrass goal.
Although Pulis will be eying promotion he believes that his team are the underdogs for the upcoming clash.
Pulis said: “We have got Villa, who most probably have the strongest squad in the Championship and it will be a real tough game. They will be big favourites, I’m sure.”