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Middlesbrough logo
Championship | Gameweek 31
Feb 10, 2024 at 3pm UK
Riverside Stadium
Bristol City

1 - 2
Bristol City

Silvera (90+1')
Barlaser (73')
FT(HT: 0-2)
Knight (16'), James (17')

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

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

Looking to turn their top-six dreams into a reality for back-to-back campaigns, Middlesbrough will welcome Bristol City to the Riverside Stadium for a crucial Championship clash on Saturday afternoon.

Boro were forced to settle for a point against North-East rivals Sunderland last time out, while the Robins were unsuccessful in midweek during their FA Cup replay against Premier League opposition.

Match preview

Middlesbrough manager Michael Carrick on January 23, 2024© Reuters

Netting his third goal in as many Championship contests since returning from injury, Finnish attacker Marcus Forss handed Middlesbrough the lead against Michael Beale's Sunderland with a clinical half-volley, but the hosts at the Riverside were unable to hold on for maximum points.

Australian Tom Glover has been producing some of his finest displays in recent matches but should have done better against the Black Cats in the 83rd minute, when Ukrainian striker Nazariy Rusyn managed to sneak his tame effort into the near post past the 26-year-old to restore parity in the game.

A glaring issue for Michael Carrick's men currently is their lack of a ruthless centre forward following the departure of Chuba Akpom to Dutch giants Ajax in the summer, with natural wide player Sam Greenwood doing his best to lead the line during the Sunderland stalemate last weekend.

After struggling for consistency through the Christmas period and into the New Year, Boro sit 12th in the Championship standings with
41 points from 29 matches, four points behind sixth-placed Hull City, with the Tigers further boosted by the January arrivals of Fabio Carvalho and Anass Zaroury.

The sale of Morgan Rogers to Aston Villa represented the headline act of Middlesbrough's winter window, although Saturday's hosts were able to add quality to their ranks, with Finn Azaz arriving from Villa Park, while Luke Thomas and Luke Ayling joined on loan from Leicester City and Leeds United respectively.

Bristol City's Jason Knight celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on February 7, 2024© Reuters

Bristol City took a break from the rigours of second-tier life as they travelled to the City Ground to face Premier League strugglers Nottingham Forest in an FA Cup fourth-round replay, and despite dominating large periods of the match, Liam Manning's men were knocked out of the competition.

Jason Knight's 14th-minute strike was ultimately enough to take the contest all the way to penalty kicks after Liverpool legend Divock Origi opened the scoring for the Tricky Trees, with Robins youngster Sam Bell failing to hold his nerve from 12 yards, while all of the hosts' takers beat Max O'Leary.

Following four matches against top-flight opposition in the FA Cup over the past month, Bristol City only have their Championship fortunes to focus on from now until the conclusion of the campaign, with the West Country club currently six games without a win in the league.

Hopes of clawing back the seven-point gap to the playoff places were dealt a major blow last Friday, when Daniel Farke's Leeds arrived at Ashton Gate and completely outplayed the Robins, with Italy international Willy Gnonto bagging the decisive goal just after the half-time break.

With former Oxford United boss Manning looking to transform Bristol City into a team that dominates football matches at this level, the acquisition of Max Bird from Derby County was a particularly shrewd one, with the 23-year-old set to make his debut for his new employers this weekend.

Middlesbrough Championship form:

Middlesbrough form (all competitions):

Bristol City Championship form:

Bristol City form (all competitions):

Team News

Bristol City manager Liam Manning on February 7, 2024© Reuters

After missing the majority of the January schedule due to his involvement in the Asian Cup, Middlesbrough's Samuel Silvera made an appearance off the bench against Sunderland, and the Australian should be joined by compatriot Riley McGree in the squad on Saturday.

With Emmanuel Latte Lath expected to be sidelined until later this month due to a hamstring injury, Josh Coburn could be handed a start as Boro's only fit central striker, although both Forss and Greenwood can operate in that role.

First-choice goalkeeper Seny Dieng remains in the medical room with a hip injury, while winger Isaiah Jones is still recovering from a hamstring strain.

After being unable to feature in the fourth-round replay in midweek, January arrival Adedire Medbude could make his Bristol City debut on Saturday afternoon.

Robins midfielder Matty James was dropped to the bench as an injury precaution on Wednesday night, but the former Leicester man could rejoin Joe Williams in the engine room this weekend.

Burnley loanee Scott Twine bagged a goal on his full debut for Bristol City against Watford on January 20, but a thigh issue has kept the attacking midfielder out of action ever since.

Middlesbrough possible starting lineup:
Glover; Ayling, Fry, Van den Berg, Engel; Howson, Hackney; Greenwood, Azaz, Forss; Coburn

Bristol City possible starting lineup:
O'Leary; McCrorie, Vyner, Dickie, Tanner; James, Williams, Bell, Knight, Mehmeti; Conway

SM words green background

We say: Middlesbrough 2-1 Bristol City

Apart from the 6-1 thrashing at the hands of Chelsea in the EFL Cup, Middlesbrough have arguably created the chances to win all of their recent matches, so Boro should be confident of earning three points on Saturday.

Bristol City did well to take their top-flight opponents to penalty kicks on Wednesday night, although we believe that the Robins' wait for a win will continue at the Riverside.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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Group A

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3 Hungary Hungary31023
4 Scotland flag Scotland30121

Group B

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4 Ukraine Ukraine31114

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