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Birmingham logo
Championship | Gameweek 29
Mar 12, 2024 at 7.45pm UK
St. Andrew's Stadium
Middlesbrough logo

0 - 1

FT(HT: 0-1)
McGree (17')
Howson (23'), Latte Lath (90+8')

Preview: Birmingham City vs. Middlesbrough - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Tuesday's Championship clash between Birmingham City and Middlesbrough, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Looking to move themselves away from trouble near the foot of the league standings, Birmingham City will welcome Middlesbrough to St Andrew's @ Knighthead Park on Tuesday night in the Championship.

Blues suffered a heartbreaking defeat at relegation rivals Millwall on Saturday, whilst the Boro were comfortable winners at Queens Park Rangers on the same day.

Match preview

Birmingham City players look dejected on November 11, 2023© Reuters

Following a respectable 1-1 draw at top-six hopefuls Hull City on Tuesday night, Birmingham returned to their bad habits on the road in the Championship at Millwall on Saturday afternoon, when Blues were unable to hold on for a vital point in the race to preserve their second-tier status.

With Jay Stansfield and company missing a number of chances to put the visitors ahead, Birmingham paid for their lack of ruthlessness in the ultimate fashion in the 90th minute, with Tottenham Hotspur loanee Japhet Tanganga netting a late winner for Neil Harris's resurgent Lions.

Possessing the second-worst away record in the division this season - only better than bottom side Rotherham United - Mark Venus's men will be delighted to be facing back-to-back matches at St Andrew's before the international break against Middlesbrough and Tom Cleverley's Watford.

As thing stand, Blues are hanging perilously above the drop zone in the Championship table, just a single point ahead of 22nd-placed Huddersfield Town, although Tuesday night's match gives the hosts the golden opportunity to move as high as 17th-placed Plymouth Argyle.

Enjoying a stellar campaign in the midfield for Birmingham, Jordan James currently has eight second-tier goals to his name and attracted interest from Serie A giants Atalanta BC in the January transfer window, with the 19-year-old already a regular starter for the Welsh national side.

Middlesbrough manager Michael Carrick on January 23, 2024© Reuters

Following back-to-back defeats to Plymouth and relegation-threatened Stoke City recently, successive wins over the past week against Norwich City and QPR have given Middlesbrough faint dreams of reaching the playoffs, although there are plenty of improvements to be made in order to make that dream a reality.

Boro kept their first clean sheet since the EFL Cup semi-final clash with Chelsea on Saturday afternoon, netting two goals in West London against the R's, with Emmanuel Latte Lath and Marcus Forss getting themselves on the scoresheet following a cagey, goalless first period.

Six points from an available six in the past two league matches have allowed Michael Carrick's side to move up to 11th in the Championship standings, although Tuesday's visitors are still eight points behind David Wagner's Norwich City who occupy that coveted sixth place.

Many teams in the Championship have passed their Teesside test with flying colours at the Riverside Stadium this season, meaning that Middlesbrough have collected more points on the road in 2023-24, earning a respectable tally of 26 points from 18 outings away from the North-East.

With Chuba Akpom securing a big-money move to Eredivisie giants Ajax in the summer transfer window, Boro desperately needed to replace the former Arsenal man's goals at the top end of the pitch, and Lath has helped to do that, with the Ivorian netting seven league goals so far.

Birmingham City Championship form:

Middlesbrough Championship form:

Team News

Birmingham City's Tyler Roberts and teammates look dejected after the match on February 9, 2024© Reuters

Birmingham will remain without the services of captain Dion Sanderson, who will serve the final match of his three-game suspension against Middlesbrough on Tuesday night.

Krystian Bielik is not expected to be back in action until after the international break due to a groin issue, further reducing Blues' options in the backline.

Ethan Laird and Andre Dozzell were rested completely at The Den on Saturday as Venus looks to manage the minutes of his key players - the pair should re-enter the XI against Boro.

Saturday's goalscorer Lath is set to lead the line once more for Middlesbrough due to the absence of Josh Coburn, who is sidelined until after the international break.

Hayden Hackney is a massive miss for Carrick's engine room, with the 21-year-old suffering a knee injury in the middle of last month.

Boro are still without a number of key options in defence, with Alex Bangura, Dael Fry and Darragh Lenihan all taking up spots in the medical room.

Birmingham City possible starting lineup:
Ruddy; Laird, Aiwu, Roberts, Buchanan; Dozzell, Paik; James, Pritchard, Bacuna; Stansfield

Middlesbrough possible starting lineup:
Dieng; McNair, Van den Berg, Clarke; Ayling, Howson, O'Brien, Engel, McGree; Lath, Forss

SM words green background

We say: Birmingham City 1-0 Middlesbrough

Birmingham are in desperate need of three points, and we reckon that a fired-up atmosphere at St Andrew's could help the hosts to victory.

Middlesbrough have been impressive in recent matches, but another match on the road in the space of four days might prove too much for Carrick's side.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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