The Build Up: Middlesbrough vs Bristol City
Next up for the Boro is the visit of Bristol City as the Reds welcome the Robins to Teesside.
Last time out Boro mustered an impressive display away to Reading, winning 2-0 thanks to goals from Ashley Fletcher and Marc Bola.
Boro ‘did a job’ on the Royals with Sam Morsy, Dael Fry and Bola all making strong claims to be Man of the Match. It was a much-needed improved performance for Morsy, who has come under a few questions of late, due to his performances. Warnock was all too pleased with the Egyptian’s performance and claimed: ‘That’s the best I’ve seen Sam Morsy play since he’s come here.’
Dael Fry made a successful return to action at the weekend and ‘The Teesside Lighthouse’ was instrumental in Boro’s productive efforts to keep a clean sheet. The commanding centre-half gave striker Lucas Joao no room to manoeuvre and was a nightmare for the Reading attack.
Boro come into the game with no fresh injury concerns, which will be a relief for Warnock as the injury list continues to get shorter. Bolasie and Tavernier continue to be unavailable, alongside long-term absentee Marcus Browne.
With Tuesday’s opponents on a barren run of form, Warnock may see fit to rotate a few of the starters from the last few games, giving minutes to the likes of Djed Spence and Marvin Johnson, potentially to capitalise on The Robins’ lack of pace at the back. However, an unchanged line-up should not be overlooked heading into the game, due to Boro’s back-to-back wins, before Tuesday’s match-up.
Bristol City make the long trip from the South West on a horrible spell of form. The once play-off hopefuls have slumped down the table and now find themselves in 15th as their top six hopes fade. The Robins have lost each of their last six league outings, with Dean Holden falling victim to a managerial sacking prior to their latest defeat against high-flying Barnsley.
It is Nigel Pearson who is set to take the hot-seat at Ashton Gate after Tuesday’s fixture. However, Bristol City will be without a manager for their trip to the North East, with Pearson only in attendance, observing his new side.
Only Huddersfield Town and Wycombe Wanderers have conceded more goals than Bristol City this term, and once again Neil Warnock will be hoping to capitalise on this.
Similarly to Boro, The Robins have often rotated system between three and four defender systems with ex-Boro defender Tomas Kalas being favoured when fit. Their players have come under heavy individual criticism, especially of late, from the Bristol City fans and you can imagine their next managerial appointment will be a massive one for the Ashton Gate side.
Last time out Boro ended Bristol City’s unbeaten start to the season as Warnock’s men returned from Ashton Gate with a 1-0 win. George Saville capitalised on a Taylor Moore error to ensure it was a happy return to Teesside for the Reds. The two sides have battled since then just outside of the play-off places, prior to Bristol City’s recent fall to 15th.
Another side that Boro have not met in the Premier League, but have met on many occasions, with Boro just edging the head-to-head. The two sides met in Tony Mowbray’s first game back as Boro manager back in 2010, with the Robins winning 2-1 at the Riverside that day.
Boro wins: 34
Bristol City wins: 26