Match Preview | Middlesbrough vs. Cardiff City
Steve Morison's men head north to face Middlesbrough on Wednesday evening.
Boro will host the Bluebirds at the Riverside Stadium, with kick-off at 7:45pm.
This fixture has been selected for television broadcast domestically and internationally. As such, Cardiff City TV can only offer Audio coverage in the UK & most international countries.
Opposition Focus | Season so far
Our meeting with Middlesbrough is a crucial fixture in the story of Boro's season; to keep in with a chance of securing a Play-Off place, Chris Wilder's side will need to pick up three points against the Bluebirds.
Boro currently sit in ninth position in the Championship table with 64 points, five behind Sheffield United in sixth. A victory for Wilder's men in tonight's game-in-hand would see them climb above Millwall and Blackburn Rovers into seventh spot, leaving them two points behind the Blades with two matches to play.
Following a slow start to the season under former City boss Neil Warnock, Wilder's arrival at the Riverside has precipitated a turnaround in form for Boro, particularly over the winter months.
Middlesbrough enjoyed a seven-match unbeaten run from late November to mid January, which helped them to rise from mid-table obscurity into Play-Off contention.
Opposition Focus | Ones to Watch
One of Warnock's summer signings, Matt Crooks has been a key part of Boro's rise up the table in the second part of the season. The 28-year-old has chipped in with eight goals from midfield this term, including a matchwinning brace against Reading in a 2-1 victory. However, Crooks has missed the last two matches through injury, and may again be absent this evening.
Young winger Isiah Jones has broken through into the First Team fold at the Riverside this season, recording nine assists in an impressive debut campaign. The 22-year-old has also scored once for Boro, netting the only goal of the game to defeat Swansea City back in December.
Another key contributor has been Marcus Tavernier, who has chipped in with three goals and five assists this term. A versatile player, Tavernier has operated at central midfield, right back and right wing this season, and has played the full 90 minutes in 40 consecutive league fixtures, a run stretching back to late August.
Club Connections | Bluebirds and Boro
One man who won't be in action this evening is striker Uche Ikpeazu, who joined the Bluebirds on loan from Boro in January, and is ineligible to face his parent club. The 27-year-old has scored three goals for City so far during his loan spell.
Ikpeazu is not the only player in the City squad with a connection to Middlesbrough; Aden Flint spent the 2018/19 season at the Riverside Stadium, completing a move from Bristol City. The centre-back moved to the Welsh capital in 2019, and could feature against his former side this evening.
Three former Bluebirds are on the books at Middlesbrough this season - Sol Bamba and Lee Peltier could be in line to make an appearance in tonight's fixture, though Sammy Ameobi is still yet to make his Boro debut due to a long-term injury.