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Middlesbrough vs. Manchester City, Premier League 2017: Players to Watch

Will Negredo get a goal against his former team?

Manchester City v Middlesbrough - Premier League Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Manchester City are heading to Middlesbrough with vengeance on their minds after a 1-1 draw at the Etihad last November in the Premier League.

City looked as if they were going to walk away with a 1-0 win in that match, but Marten de Roon’s header earned Boro one of their few points this season.

While City remain strong in the Top-4 race, their draw on last Thursday's Derby against Manchester United was not what they would’ve liked, especially with the amount of chances that they created.

However, City need to look forward and prepare for a Boro side who have nothing to lose facing a probable relegation season. All they really have at this point is the desire to knock off the best, and doing so could give them a remote chance to stay up in the Premier League.

Here’s a look at a few players who could impact Sunday's match at the Riverside:

Marten de Roon

The Dutch midfielder has gone under the radar on Boro as Adama Traoré usually takes the midfield spotlight. But de Roon has the most goals on the team for midfielders, and one of them came against City in the reverse fixture. He also scored earlier this week in their 1-0 win over last place Sunderland.

Although de Roon doesn’t offer great passing ability, he makes up for it in the defensive side of the game, making 2.2 tackles and 1.4 interceptions a game. Not bad, but he will need to have an incredible game and maybe score again to give Boro a chance in this game.

Kevin De Bruyne

After a world-class performance on Thursday's Derby, the Belgian midfielder is looking to give City another chance to grab the three points this week. Although he made six key passes and created one big chance, City went without a goal against United.

De Bruyne’s 13 assists lead the Premier League, but he hasn’t been properly recognized for his efforts this season by critics. But he will always give City a fighting chance to win with his creative ability on the pitch.

Alvaro Negredo

A former City player, Negredo leads Boro in goals (8) and assists (4). In fact, the Spaniard has contributed to more than half of Boro’s 23 league goals this season.

Regardless of his team's terrible season, Negredo is still a star player who is looking to score against his former club. Look for Negredo to get on the scoresheet if Boro have a chance to win.

Gabriel Jesus

The Brazilian returned from injury on Thursday's Manchester Derby for just five minutes and nearly made a fantastic impact, but his game-winning header was disallowed for offside. Still, it was great to see Jesus back, and he'll certainly get more than five minutes against Boro.

Jesus sent Sergio Agüero to the bench earlier this season, and scored three goals in just five appearances before his foot injury. The 20-year-old will look to score again and contribute to another City victory.