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Nov 3, 2015 at 7.45pm UK at Riverside Stadium
RotherhamRotherham United
Downing (16')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Preview: Middlesbrough vs. Rotherham United

Sports Mole previews the Championship clash between Middlesbrough and Rotherham United at the Riverside Stadium.

Middlesbrough will be looking to break back into the top two in the Championship when they face off against Rotherham United on Tuesday night.

The Millers are rock-bottom of the table following their defeat at the hands of Derby County, leaving the club in dire need of a victory at the Riverside Stadium.


Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka during the Capital One Cup First Round match between Oldham Athletic and Middlesbrough at Boundary Park on August 12, 2014© Getty Images

Boro endured a difficult run of form over the first three weeks of last month as they suffered defeats to Reading and Cardiff City, dropping them out of the automatic promotion places.

Aitor Karanka will have been worried when his side fell behind at Wolverhampton Wanderers two weeks ago, but the North-East outfit rallied to secure a 3-1 victory to end their three-match winless run.

The club used the win as a platform to take into their Capital One Cup clash against Manchester United as they managed to hold the Red Devils to a goalless draw over the course of the 90 minutes before clinching their place in the quarter-finals with a 3-1 triumph on penalties.

Boro took a while to break down Charlton Athletic in their match at the Riverside on Saturday, but once David Nugent found the net in the 60th minute the goals flowed to secure their second win on the bounce in the second tier.

The arrival of Nugent along with Stewart Downing, Diego Fabbrini and Christian Stuani has turned Boro into a potent force in the final third. The club have scored 23 goals in their 14 matches this season - only Fulham have scored more in the Championship.

Karanka's men's defensive resilience played a huge part in their run to the playoff final in the last campaign, and that has continued this term. Boro boast the second-best defensive record in the division, keeping six clean sheets in their 14 fixtures.

Middlesbrough have only dropped five points at home this season, with a surprising loss to Bristol City early in the campaign and a draw against Fulham their only slip-ups, leaving the Millers facing a daunting task in their trip to the Riverside.

Recent form: WLDLWW
Recent form (all competitions): LDLWWW

Rotherham United

Leeds caretaker manager Neil Redfearn shouts instructions during the npower Championship match between Charlton Athletic and Leeds United at the Valley on April 06, 2013© Getty Images

Rotherham have endured a torrid start to the campaign as they have recorded just two victories in their 14 matches this season.

The Millers defeated Cardiff and Birmingham City in back-to-back matches in September, but that has been the only bright spot of the season so far for the Yorkshire club.

The team have not won since the departure of Steve Evans at the end of September, with new manager Neil Redfearn growing increasingly frustrated by his side's displays.

United are currently on a five-match winless run in the Championship, losing four of the contests, including their last two games to Sheffield Wednesday and Derby last time out.

Rotherham's problems have stemmed from their defensive displays as they have conceded the most goals in the division this season, shipping 27 in their 14 matches.

Redfearn will be given hope that his side have found the net 15 times over the course of the campaign, which is good enough to leave them in the middle of the pack in the Championship.

The Millers have taken just four points out of a possible 28 on the road this season, with their last points coming in their win over Birmingham, leaving them with an uphill task in their trip to the Riverside.

Recent form: WLLDLL

Team News

Adam Forshaw of Middlesbrough holds off Bakary Sako of Wolves during the Sky Bet Championship match between Middlesbrough and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Riverside Stadium on April 14, 2015© Getty Images

Karanka will still be without midfielder Adam Forshaw for his side's clash against the Millers.

The Spaniard is likely to stick with the same lineup that defeated the Addicks, although Carlos de Pena, Tomas Kalas and Grant Leadbitter could all be recalled to the team after starting on the bench on Saturday.

Farrend Rawson could come straight back into the team for the Millers after missing their last match against Derby due to being unavailable against his parent club, but Matt Derbyshire has been ruled out of the contest.

Aidan White and Paul Green could also come back into the starting lineup for Redfearn's men, while Chris Maguire and Jordan Bowery may also push for recalls.

Middlesbrough possible starting lineup:
Konstantopoulos; Kalas, Ayala, Gibson, Amorebieta; Clayton, Leadbitter, Fabbrini, Adomah, Downing; Nugent

Rotherham possible starting lineup:
Camp; Buxton, Broadfoot, Collins, Mattock; Newell, Smallwood; D Ward, G Ward, Toffolo; Clarke-Harris

Head To Head

In the last meeting between the sides, Middlesbrough recorded a 2-0 victory over the Millers at the Riverside thanks to goals from Lee Tomlin and Patrick Bamford.

Boro also won the fixture at the New York Stadium in the previous meeting in the last campaign with a 3-0 triumph, with Bamford, Tomlin and Yanic Wildschut finding the net.

Middlesbrough have won the last four contests between the sides, and over the course of history the North-East outfit have edged the fixture with 18 wins to Rotherham's nine, with eight of the matches ending in stalemates.

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We say: Middlesbrough 4-0 Rotherham

Middlesbrough have begun to find their form after a tricky patch in the middle of last month. Karanka's men should have enough quality to ease to a comfortable win over the Millers to increase Redfearn's woes.

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Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka during the Capital One Cup First Round match between Oldham Athletic and Middlesbrough at Boundary Park on August 12, 2014
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