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James Crawley

James Crawley writes

Posted Tuesday, February 23rd 2021

MansionBet Match Preview: Middlesbrough (A, 2020/21)

Attentions turn to a Tuesday night trip to the Riverside (Tuesday, February 23rd, 7pm KO).

In association with City's Principal Partner MansionBet, we take a closer look at the match...

The Riverside Stadium has treated the Robins well in the last two seasons, with a 2019 Adam Webster header and super strikes from Nahki Wells and Jamie Paterson from last year's restart still fresh in the mind.

City head to the North East off the back of a narrow defeat at home to Barnsley when they looked like they might have done enough to earn a point at Ashton Gate on Saturday, but for Carlton Morris’ 67th minute goal.

It was a sloppy goal conceded with a ball across the goalmouth tapped in by substitute Morris, after Bentley tried his best to deal with danger at the backpost following a corner.

In fact, Barnsley had threatened from earlier corners but on this occasion the Robins defence would be finally beaten. No doubt Keith Downing and Paul Simpson will not be happy with the manner in which they conceded, and analysis of how the players defended those set pieces will be analysed ahead of Tuesday’s trip to the Riverside.

Highlights: Bristol City v Barnsley

 

But Saturday’s fixture against the Tykes showed City’s struggles going forward would continue, though there were glimpses of opportunity later in the game despite nothing coming to fruition.

Captain Tomas Kalas says the players have to take responsibility and play with more confidence if they are to get out of the slump they find themselves in. After all, City are without point since beating Huddersfield Town a month ago.

But there may well be points to prove with the eyes of new Manager Nigel Pearson watching on from the stands. This is his first glimpse of his Robins squad, though Assistant Head Coaches Keith Downing and Paul Simpson will be in charge in the dugout.

As for Middlesbrough, they will likely be confident after beating Reading 2-0 on Saturday, thanks to their first-half goals just seven minutes apart.

That means Neil Warnock’s side have taken six points from their last two games and continue their charge on the top six now sitting just three points behind Jonathan Woodgate’s AFC Bournemouth.

In fact, the Sunday Times described the last week as Boro’s “statement of intent against promotion rivals.”

Now City have to step up and provide their own statement of intent. Can the Robins match up against an in-form side and a manager with promotion experience? It’s what’s required in the Championship and where seasons can be decided.

There is more encouraging news from the injury camp as Liam Walsh, while not involved in the Boro fixture, will earn minutes with the Under-23s on Tuesday having missed the season so far.

MATCH DETAILS 

Where: Riverside Stadium
When: Tuesday, February 23rd, 7pm KO
Competition: Sky Bet Championship

Referee: Tim Robinson
Assistants: Andrew Fox and Richard Wild 
Fourth official: Samuel Barott

DOWN MEMORY LANE

Middlesbrough 0-1 City
Riverside Stadium
Tuesday, April 2nd 2019
Sky Bet Championship

Adam Webster’s first-half header sent City back into the play-offs in a well-earned win against Middlesbrough some 22 months ago.

City pressed the Smoggies from the off and after surviving a crossbar and goalline clearance scare, Webster rose to give City a half-time advantage.

Tony Pulis’ side wasted a number of chances, with Britt Assombalonga striking the post, while Max O’Leary was in form to keep the hosts at bay and earn a clean sheet.

Marlon Pack curled a shot narrowly wide as City almost squeezed a second goal but a defensive tactical switch helped the Robins take the points back to Bristol.

HEAD TO HEAD*

Middlesbrough v Bristol City

Played: 82
City won: 26  (%)
Drew: 22
City lost: 34 

Bristol City goals: 36
Boro goals: 41

Bristol City top goalscorers: Famara Diédhiou (8)
Boro top goalscorer: Duncan Watmore (6)

Bristol City most assists: Antoine Semenyo (7)
Boro most assists: Marvin Johnson (5)

Bristol City clean sheets: 9
Boro clean sheets: 11

League positions
Bristol City: 15th (39 points)
Boro: 8th (46 points)

*All competitions unless stated

Steven Sessegnon returned from injury on Saturday
Paul Simpson and Keith Downing took charge on the sidelines

Robins TV

Boro v City will be streamed live on Robins TV, complete with a multi-angle and multi-replay production in-game. with the Matchday Show starting at 6.30pm.

SECURE YOUR ROBINS TV PASS HERE

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