MX23RW : Monday, June 21 03:45:53| >> :120:75561:75561:
Jul 11, 2020 at 3pm UK at Riverside Stadium
Bristol City
FT(HT: 0-2)
Wells (6', 79'), Paterson (42')

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

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Championship showdown between Middlesbrough and Bristol City, including team news and predicted lineups.

Promotion outsiders Bristol City will be looking to build on their first Championship win since February when travel to relegation-threatened Middlesbrough on Saturday afternoon.

Middlesbrough also enjoyed victory last time out as they boosted their survival hopes with a 2-0 win at Millwall on Wednesday.

Match preview

Middlesbrough manager Neil Warnock pictured on June 27, 2020© Reuters

Following two successive defeats to Hull City and Queens Park Rangers, Middlesbrough got their survival fight back on track as goals from Britt Assombalonga and Ashley Fletcher put Millwall to the sword on their own turf.

The result now means that Boro have two points worth of breathing space from the relegation zone as they lie 18th in the table, although Neil Warnock's men could drop one place down to 19th if Stoke record an unlikely victory over promotion-chasing Leeds United on Thursday.

Boro have now picked up as many wins since the restart as they had in their last 12 before play was brought to a halt, although all five of their most recent wins have come on the road.

As Boro return to the Riverside Stadium, where they have lost to Swansea City and Queens Park Rangers following the league's resumption, Warnock's side will aspire to claim their first three points on home soil since Boxing Day.

A victory for the relegation candidates on Saturday would see Warnock's men hit the coveted 50-point mark for the season - a tally which Boro supporters should feel to be enough to preserve their side's status as a Championship club for the 2020-21 campaign.

Bristol City's Jamie Paterson celebrates scoring against Hull City in the Championship on July 8, 2020© Reuters

Bristol City's start to life without Lee Johnson in the dugout could not have kicked off in a better way as they enjoyed a 2-1 victory over a struggling Hull City side in midweek.

Goals from Famara Diedhiou and Jamie Paterson set City on their way to their first three points since February following a barren run which saw them drift away from the top six at this crucial stage.

Prior to the win over Hull, Bristol City had only managed to amass two points from 27 on offer in their last nine league outings, and the Robins managed to end a four-game losing streak since the restart in midweek.

A spot in the playoffs certainly seems far-fetched for Bristol City with only four games left to play, especially considering that the 12th-placed side lie six points adrift of the top six, but the Robins are not out of contention just yet.

As City's search for a new permanent manager continues, Dean Holden will no doubt be looking to bring some more long-awaited joy to the supporters with a first win on the road since the beginning of February.

Boro and Bristol City played out a 2-2 draw at Ashton Gate earlier in the campaign, although Warnock's side have only managed to overcome Bristol City twice in their most recent nine meetings.

Middlesbrough Championship form: WLWLLW

Bristol City Championship form: DLLLLW

Team News

Middlesbrough's Lewis Wing celebrates scoring their second goal on February 11, 2020© Reuters

Middlesbrough's solitary injury concern is Daniel Ayala, who is not expected to feature as he nurses an ankle injury.

Warnock could switch back to a defensive four against the leaky defence of Bristol City, potentially opening the door for Marcus Tavernier to return to the attack.

Bristol City are still without the suspended Ashley Williams, while Pedro Pereira and Niki Maenpaa remain sidelined through injury.

Centre-back Nathan Baker was forced off early on in the win over Hull with a head injury, meaning that Zak Vyner may deputise in the heart of defence.

Holden opted for a three-at-the-back formation for his first game in charge and may stick with the system after it paid dividends against Hull, and Nahki Wells will be out to improve his 16-goal tally for the season this weekend.

Middlesbrough possible starting lineup:
Stojanovic; Spence, Shotton, Fry, Friend; Howson, Saville, Clayton; Tavernier, Assombalonga, Fletcher

Bristol City possible starting lineup:
Bentley; Kalas, Benkovic, Vyner; Hunt, Weimann, Nagy, Paterson, Dasilva; Wells, Diedhiou

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We say: Middlesbrough 1-1 Bristol City

Bristol City would have received a huge injection of confidence after finally managing to get three points on the board following the restart, and Middlesbrough have struggled on their own patch in recent months, so we are expecting both teams to walk away with a share of the spoils at the weekend.

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Millwall boss Gary Rowett on February 15, 2020
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