Neil Warnock's Boro team are currently occupying ninth spot, with their upcoming visitors breathing down their necks from the 10th spot.
A win for the Potters will see them swap places with Middlesbrough, as only two points separate the two teams heading into this important fixture.
Both clubs still have a lot of catching up to do if they are to push for a playoff spot. The team that tastes defeat this Saturday could very well kiss their promotion dreams goodbye.
Middlesbrough vs Stoke City head-to-head
Interestingly, Saturday's meeting will mark the 100th time Middlesbrough and Stoke City have squared off against each other.
Boro hold a slight advantage in the head-to-head record, winning 41 games. Stoke City have won 36 games, while the remaining 22 have been drawn. However, the Potters did win the reverse fixture this season.
Middlesbrough form guide: L-W-D-L-W
Stoke City form guide: W-L-L-L-W
Middlesbrough vs Stoke City team news
Neil Warnock is expected to welcome striker Ashley Fletcher back from injury as his future with the club remains uncertain.
Yannick Bolasie, who started in the club's 2-1 defeat at Swansea, may be dropped to the bench for Neeskens Kebano or Chuba Akpom.
Injuries: Anfernee Dijksteel
Doubtful: Ashley Fletcher
Jordan Thompson may be handed a start after the Northern Ireland international came off the bench in the Potters' win against Wycombe Wanderers last time out.
Young Welshman Rabbi Matondo, on loan from Schalke, is an exciting option off the bench.
Injuries: Tyrese Campbell
Middlesbrough vs Stoke City predicted XI
Middlesbrough predicted XI (3-1-4-2): Marcus Bettinelli; Paddy McNair; Grant Hall; Dael Fry; Sam Morsy; Jonny Howson; George Saville; Marc Bola; Djed Spence; Ashley Fletcher; Neeskens Kabano
Stoke City predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Angus Gunn; Tommy Smith; Harry Souttar; James Chester; Rhys Norrington-Davies; John Obi Mikel; Jordan Thompson; Jacob Brown; Jack Clarke; Nick Powell; Steven Fletcher
Middlesbrough vs Stoke City prediction
Anfernee Dijksteel's injury, which will keep him out for the remainder of the season, is a huge blow for the home side. Opponents will almost certainly target the right hand side of the Boro defense with the Dutchman absent.
With this in mind, we expect Jack Clarke to be heavily involved in Stoke City's attacks. However, Middlesbrough have decent quality going forward, having scored at least once in eight straight games.
We expect this to end in a low-scoring draw.
Prediction: Middlesbrough 1-1 Stoke City
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