Competition: Football League Championship
Fixture: Middlesbrough v Bristol City
Date: Saturday, August 22, 2015
Venue: Riverside Stadium, Middlesbrough
Kick off time: 15:00 hrs GMT
Middlesbrough are to welcome Bristol City to the Riverside Stadium this weekend in the Championship.
Middlesbrough’s form: W-D-W-W-D
Middlesbrough drew at Derby County in the last round of fixtures. It was a contest between two promotion hopefuls and Aitor Karanka set up his side to defend after taking an early lead through Kike. However, The Rams had luck on their side as they equalized in the 88th minute.
The side have made a decent start to the campaign and are in fifth position in the standings. Although they were held to a goalless draw at Preston North End on the opening weekend, they beat Bolton Wanderers 3-0 at home the following weekend after having defeated Oldham 3-1 on the road in the League Cup.
Bristol City’s form: L-L-L-L-D
The visitors are coming off a 2-2 home draw against Leeds United in midweek. They were staring at a 2-0 loss until the 89th minute when Kieran Agard gave them some hope with a goal. Aden Flint levelled the scores in extra time with a well taken goal.
The side were beaten 4-2 at home by Brentford last weekend while Sheffield Wednesday beat Bristol 2-0 on the opening weekend. The visitors were also chucked out of the League Cup by Luton Town in a miserable few weeks for the team.
Key Players and Team News
Middlesbrough: Kike has been the stand out player for this side so far this season. The Spaniard has scored some important goals for Karanka this season and the 25-year-old will look to improve his goals tally this weekend.
Bristol City: The side have scored five separate goals this season and all these goals have come from different players across the pitch. However, after scoring two crucial goals in the last game, Agard and Flint will start as the most crucial players for the visitors on Saturday.
Bristol City beat Middlesbrough twice in the 2012/13 season in the Championship despite being relegated at the end of that season. In the meantime Middlesbrough had a decent tilt at promotion and were thwarted at the last hurdle.
The hosts definitely start as favourites to win this upcoming game at home and although Bristol City showed good fight to get the draw against Leeds United, taking some points off Middlesbrough will take some doing and it is a possibility that looks far too remote at this juncture. I will put my money on the hosts (1.61 with Coral). I will also back Kike to hit the back of the net against Bristol at odds of 2.5 with Stan James.