Something has to give in Saturday's battle between second and third.
City will be looking for their ninth home win out of nine on Saturday, but will face a tough task against in-form Middlesbrough. Malky Mackay's side are coming off the back of an impressive 2-1 win over Hull City last weekend, while Boro defeated Sheffield Wednesday 3-1 in last Friday's televised fixture.
Middlesbrough are a side in a rich vain of form, unbeaten in their last nine games in all competitions. During this period they have beaten Premier League Sunderland away from home to reach the League Cup Quarter Finals and have picked up league wins against some strong opposition, including Hull, Bolton, Brighton and Watford. This form has left the Smoggies one point off top of the table in second place - and one point ahead of City in third.
men are not indestructible away from home, having slipped up in games that they would have been expected to take something from. They went down 1-0 at Barnsley and have also seen defeats on the road at Millwall and a heavy 4-1 loss at Blackpool. Boro have conceded as many goals as they have scored away from home so far this season too. That combined with the fact that Cardiff have scored nineteen goals and only conceded five at Cardiff City Stadium can give them real hope of a famous ninth straight home win.Tony Mowbray’sDespite their impressive form,
Key Players:.Marvin Emnes and a player who many Cardiff fans will remember well after his goal for Swansea two seasons ago, Ishmael Miller closely follows with four league goals. Middlesbrough have also got potential goals in the form of on loan Scott McDonald, with five league goals in total. This is impressive, as he has only had five league starts and a total of nine appearances. Australia international, Lukas JutkiewiczThe Teesside outfit’s top scorer so far this season has been
if the youngster is able to shake of a foot injury, that is. Josh McEachran - is a very influential player for Boro. During his career he has played both centre and right back, and also defensive and attacking midfield roles. Now playing a largely attacking role, he could prove to be a thorn in the City side comes Saturday. He could be partnered in midfield by Chelsea loanee, Rhys WilliamsVersatile club captain
to get passed.Jason Steele and Team GB goalkeeper Justin Hoyte. The former England and Real Madrid star has returned to home club Boro for a second spell after leaving Tottenham Hotspur in the summer. If Cardiff are to keep their impressive goal tally ticking over they will also have the likes of former Arsenal defender Jonathan WoodgateMiddlesbrough have some high profile defenders in their ranks too, with perhaps the highest being
Previous Meetings:When it comes to the head-to-head statistics between the two sides, Cardiff City have the much superior record. Out of fifty-five games, City have won twenty-seven, Middlesbrough seventeen with eleven ending in draws. The two sides have met six times in the league since Cardiff’s famous 2-0 Quarter Final, FA Cup victory at the Riverside back in 2008. The record is even, with both sides winning three games apiece and with both winning one game each last season.
Last Meeting: Middlesbrough 0 – 2 Cardiff City (07/04/2012)
were enough to see Cardiff take all three points back from their long trip up North.Ben Turner and Joe MasonWith both sides having been in and around the Play-Off area and the season getting closer to its finale, this was an important victory for City as they reached the Play-offs for the third year running. Middlesbrough were subsequently to miss out on a place in the top six. Two early first half goals from
Middlesbrough Line-up: McMahon, Smallwood.Subs Not Used:Steele, Hoyte, Bennett, McManus, Hines, Thompson (Emnes), Bailey (Ogbeche), Hammill (Martin), Robson, McDonald, Jutkiewicz.
Cardiff City Line-up: Heaton, Earnshaw.Subs Not Used:Marshall, Taylor, Turner, Hudson, Blake, Whittingham, Cowie, Lawrence, Gunnarsson, McPhail (Gestede) (McNaughton), Miller (Mason).