Home Shy 'Boro To Suffer Again At Riverside



Relegation-threatened Middlesbrough host promotion-chasing Cardiff City at the Riverside Stadium in the penultimate round of Championship action on Saturday at 3pm.


Both teams picked up big victories in midweek to keep their respective fates in their own hands, but the pressure is still on as Neil Warnock prepares to face his former club.


‘Boro were outside the bottom three on goal difference alone when Warnock replaced Jonathan Woodgate last month, but three wins from six since then has lifted them up to 18th.


The Smoggies showed true fighting spirit to battle back from a goal down against Reading on Tuesday, with Patrick Roberts playing a part in both goals as Boro claimed a 2-1 win.


That victory - a fourth away from home in five matches - leaves Warnock's men five points above the relegation zone with two games to go.


Survival is not quite assured just yet, then, but one more point from those games against Cardiff and Sheffield Wednesday will be enough.


It will mark yet another impressive achievement for Warnock in a career that has seen him earn a record eight promotions, the latest with Cardiff a couple of years ago.


Warnock is still loved in South Wales, but all that will go out of the window on Saturday as the veteran manager aims to derail his old club's promotion push.


City beat Derby County 2-1 on Tuesday to open up a two-point gap on the chasing pack in the final playoff spot, despite losing back-to-back matches last week.


Given the tight nature of the playoff battle, with three points separating Cardiff, Millwall and Swansea City, the Bluebirds may yet need to win both of their remaining games.


Cardiff had won three away games in a row before going down 2-0 to Fulham last week and have taken more points on their travels (28) than Boro have managed at home (26) this term.


City have a good record against Middlesbrough, too, winning the last three meetings by the same 1-0 scoreline, including their most recent trip to the Riverside in October 2017.


Previous Meetings

21st September 2019 – Cardiff City 1-0 Middlesbrough – Championship

17th February 2018 – Cardiff City 1-0 Middlesbrough – Championship

21st October 2017 – Middlesbrough 0-1 Cardiff City – Championship


Boro have found it difficult to sneak past Cardiff in recent times, with the Bluebirds always managing to nick the victory.


Team News

Both sides are fit and raring to go with no injuries to report in this fixture.

However, Lee Tomlin’s fitness still remains a concern, even after scoring Cardiff’s winner against Derby, the playmaker looks doubtful to start.

Prediction


Middlesbrough are without a home win since Boxing Day, losing half of their 10 matches at the Riverside Stadium since then. A defeat to Fulham last week aside, Cardiff have been in great form on their travels and I expect them to make it four wins in a row against Boro in this weekend's clash.



Match Preview written by Owen Lloyd