Middlesborough V Bristol City
Saturday, 30th January – 15:00 GMT
Matt’s Tip: Middlesborough to WIN – 1.91 Bet365
Alternative: Adam Johnson FGS – 8.50 PaddyPower
Two sides with very contrasting results in midweek in Middlesborough & Bristol City, go toe-to-toe at The Riverside with the pair harbouring the same end-of-season ambitions. Promotion is the aim but neither have had a particularly strong season thus far and now both teams will have their own reasons as to why they desperately need all three points this Saturday.
Middleborough made an extremely bright start to the season but quickly found The Championship wasn’t a league they could take lightly and have since seen their promotion bid derail. One of the reasons as to why has been their poor home form, with Gordon Strachan’s Borough side winning just 4 of 13 at The Riverside. However, we’re pinning our hopes on Borough bettering their shoddy home form this season on their morale boosting defeat of Doncaster Rovers in midweek, with Strachan’s side inflicting their biggest defeat of the season under the Scotsman reign, winning 4-1 at The Keepmoat.
City, however, will be crushed after their midweek trouncing at the hands of Cardiff City. Moreover, this colossal defeat, their biggest of the season by far, came at Ashton Gate, supposedly a happy hunting ground for The Robins. That was their first defeat at home in over two months and it will surely have a lasting impact on the spirit of the City camp. Also, Ashton Gate is often seen as a fortress for City simply because they don’t fare too well away from home, winning just 2 of 12 away league fixtures this season. They’ve suffered defeats on their previous two league outings, neither against anything overwhelming (QPR & Doncaster).
Gordon Strachan hasn’t made the instant impact the fans nor the board initially expected but their victory at Doncaster in midweek was so emphatic that it should provide them with a worthy building block for bigger and better things. Strachan will be without a few individuals but their best player, Adam Johnson, whom has 11 league goals to his name this season, is fit and will be full of confidence after bagging a brace in Borough’s hammering of Doncaster during the week. We feel the England U21 star could prove the difference in this affair as Middleborough go in search of their first set of back-to-back league wins since the middle of September.