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Preview: Coventry City vs. Middlesbrough - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Tuesday's Championship clash between Coventry City and Middlesbrough, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Coventry City and Middlesbrough will each be seeking a return to winning ways when they face off at St Andrew's on Tuesday evening.

The sides have both taken one point from their last two games and need to get back to winning ways in midweek if they are to achieve their targets for the season.


Match preview

Middlesbrough manager Neil Warnock pictured in February 2021© Reuters

Middlesbrough's promotion prospects have taken a slight dent over the past week or so as they followed up a 3-1 defeat to Bristol City with a 1-1 draw against Cardiff City.

The gap on sixth-placed Bournemouth is now five points, though it would have been even greater had Paddy McNair not fired in eight minutes from time against the Bluebirds.

That goal cancelled out Sean Morrison's opener at the Riverside and ensured that Boro claimed a 1-1 draw against their fellow promotion contenders.

Neil Warnock, an expert at getting teams out of the division, will be happy enough with his side's current standing heading into the final two months of the regular season.

If the goal for Boro is to earn promotion to the Premier League, Coventry's is simply to stay in the second tier for another year.

Coventry City's Matthew James celebrates scoring their first goal on February 27, 2021© Reuters

The Sky Blues have lost 1-0 to Swansea City and drawn 1-1 with Blackburn Rovers in their last two matches, leaving them six points above the relegation zone.

That may seem like a healthy enough gap, but 22nd-placed Rotherham United have two games in hand to play on Coventry, and the teams are set to face off in two weeks' time.

Mark Robins will not want the gap to close before that match, making this week's back-to-back home games with Middlesbrough and Derby County all the more important.

Drawing at Ewood Park last time out can be considered a positive result for City, with Matty James cancelling out Ben Brereton's opener in Saturday's contest.

Coventry have taken 24 points from 16 home matches this term, placing them 12th in the home league table - the exact position Boro find themselves in in terms of away results only.

The reverse meeting earlier this campaign finished 2-0 to Boro, but Coventry were 3-1 winners when they last hosted the Smoggies in January 2012.

Coventry City Championship form: DLLWLD

Middlesbrough Championship form: LLWWLD


Team News

Middlesbrough's Marc Bola celebrates scoring their second goal against Reading on February 20, 2021© Reuters

Coventry had to hold on with 10 men in the closing stages against Blackburn after centre-back Leo Ostigard was sent off, meaning that he will miss this game through suspension.

Michael Rose is expected to get the nod alongside Kyle McFadzean and Dominic Hyam, assuming Robins opts to stick with his five-man defence.

Further forward, Callum O'Hare and Gustavo Hamer are both pushing for recalls in central midfield.

As for the visitors, Yannick Bolasie is carrying a knock and is not expected to play any part on Tuesday night.

Nathaniel Mendez-Laing was handed his first start against former club Cardiff at the weekend, but Marvin Johnson could get the nod on the left of the front three here.

Elsewhere, George Saville is another in line for a recall in place of Jonny Howson.

Coventry City possible starting lineup:
Wilson; Hyam, McFadzean, Rose; Dabo, James, O'Hare, Hamer, McCallum; Walker, Biamou

Middlesbrough possible starting lineup:
Bettinelli; Dijksteel, Hall, Fry, Bola; Saville, McNair, Tavernier; Watmore, Assombalonga, Johnson


SM words green background

We say: Coventry City 1-2 Middlesbrough

Boro cannot afford to let the gap on the top six grow this week and will therefore be targeting all three points at St Andrew's, where Coventry have lost just two of their last 12.

This will by no means be a straightforward test for Warnock's men, but we can see them doing enough to come away from the Midlands with the victory that they crave.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home/Away:data


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Middlesbrough manager Neil Warnock pictured in February 2021
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