Often Partisan

Back to Back at Boro? Middlesbrough Preview

Lee Clark takes his Birmingham City side to the North East this evening looking to secure back to back away wins as Blues continue to try to pull away from the bottom three against a comfortably midtable Middlesbrough side.


Boro lie five places and nine points better off than Blues in the Championship table, sitting in 13th with 52 points from 40 games. Realistically they are anchored in midtable, with the playoffs 11 points above them and relegation sixteen points below with just eighteen to play for. Boro have won their last two games and have lost just once in seven. However, they have only won twice in their last seven home games.

Goalkeeper Dimi Konstantopoulos and Emmanuel Ledesma both face late fitness checks having picked up knocks at the weekend. Tomas Meijas, Daniel Ayala, Seb Hines, Rhys Williams and former Blues defender Stuart Parnaby all out with injury.


Blues only new injury worry is to Lee Novak, who came off in the weekend’s win having taken a knock; otherwise Lee Clark will have to decide whether to stick with the team that came back to beat Doncaster Rovers 3-1. With nine goals in thirteen games Federico Macheda will look to continue to start up front but Nikola Zigic may well join him having helped turn the tide in Blues’ favour.

This isn’t the crunch game that the Doncaster game was and as such I’m not so fearful of it; I hope that the fact Boro are now playing for pride only will mean that they take the foot off the gas and that it means Boro boss Aitor Karanka will continue to try out his younger players. Back to back wins would be massively helpful and with Barnsley, Millwall and Blackpool all playing top six sides could see Blues put more daylight between them and the bottom three.

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