Often Partisan

Can Blues Stop the Rot? Boro Preview

Saturday sees promotion rivals Middlesbrough come to St Andrews to play a Blues team that have fallen from the playoff places after a stutter in form.

Middlesbrough

Boro come into this game on a fairly good run of form having won four of their last six games, and having not lost an away game since January 21. Boro have the distinction of having a better away record than home having won nine games this season away from the Riverside and taking 30 points from a possible 48 on their travels.

However, they do have injury problems; Williams, Bailey, Zemmama and Martin are all doubts and Haroun will probably miss out. Barry Robson will serve the first match of a three match suspension, but Kevin Thomson should be fit to play after taking a whack in the face against Leeds.

Blues

Blues are in a wretched run of form, having won just one of their last eight games and will be hoping that Boro old boy David Murphy is fit to play after his hip injury. Jonathan Spector and Stephen Carr both definitely miss out, meaning Peter Ramage will probably get a run out at right back; I have a suspicion that Cian Hughton will be in the squad that arrives at St Andrews tomorrow in case Murphy doesn’t play.

In midfield Jordon Mutch sits out the second match of his ban, and the question will be if Blues retain the five man midfield that looked fairly useful against Leicester in the first half, or if they will recall Marlon King to the starting lineup to partner Nikola Zigic. I think Morgaro Gomis has to be in contention for a place as Guirane N’Daw hasn’t looked good enough of late; Nathan Redmond looks to have shaken off a bump to the knee and should be in the squad as an option off the bench.

As much as Blues need to win this one, I can’t see it happening. Boro are very good away from home, Blues can’t buy a win at present and are very unbalanced at the back; if Murphy isn’t fit I really fear for them. It’s a big game for Blues, and I hope that the fans will back them because they’re going to need all the help that they can get.

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2 Responses to “Can Blues Stop the Rot? Boro Preview”

  • BluePenguin 76 says:

    I agree, its going to be a tough fixture tomorrow and we have gone off the boil the last few weeks.

    Not winning , like winning can become a habit and we need to break this negative cycle before the playoffs drift away from us. Maybe all of those fixtures are finally taking there toll on a already thin squad?. The injuries at the back have diffo affected our shape and its showing in the goals against column.

    Boro are a tough nut to crack and I can see another stalemate at St Andrews. I’m going for a 1-1 draw.

  • jazzzy786 says:

    Our best course of action may be to attack and outscore them. I’d play Townsend, Burke and Redmond in the team with Nate in the hole behind Zigic. I hope we don’t play Davies at RB as Emnes will slice through the pedestrian CB pairing of Ibanez and Caldwell like a hot knife through butter. I’d rather see Burke and Elliott on the right than CD at RB.


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