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Middlesbrough vs Birmingham Preview, Tisp & Stats

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            Middlesbrough vs Birmingham Preview, Tips & Stats

            Middlesbrough welcome Birmingham to the Riverside Stadium this weekend as the Championship returns after the international break. The two sides are both looking to move up the table, with Middlesbrough aiming for the top half and Birmingham aiming to get further into the Play-off places.

            Middlesbrough currently sit 16th in the Championship after 11 games. Boro have four wins, two draws and five losses, leaving them on 14 points, four points adrift of the Play-offs.

            In their last five games in all competitions, Middlesbrough have five wins. Despite Adam Armstrong opening the scoring for Southampton in the 17th minute, Riley McGree was able to pull Boro level before halftime. Jonny Howson then converted his penalty in the second half to give Middlesbrough the 2 - 1 win. In the Third Round of the League Cup, Middlesbrough faced Bradford City. Emmanuel Lath and Morgan Rogers both scored in the dominant 2 - 0 win for Boro.

            McGree grabbed a brace within 12 minutes against Watford to give Boro the early lead, but Vakoun Issouf Bayo quickly put Watford on the scoresheet, halving Boro’s lead going into halftime. Wesley Hoedt then drew Watford level early into the second half, but a goal from Josh Coburn gave Middlesbrough the 3 - 2 win. Isaiah Jones and Lath scored in the second half against Cardiff to grab a 2 - 0 win over Cardiff City.

            The last time out before the international break saw Middlesbrough face Sunderland. Dan Neil was given his second yellow card in added time of the first half, which opened the floodgates. Sam Greenwood, Matt Crooks, Jones and Marcus Forss all scored in the 4 - 0 win over Sunderland.

            Birmingham, on the other hand, sit sixth in the Championship. The Blues have five wins, three draws and three losses in 11 games, leaving them on 18 points, ten points from automatic promotion.

            In their last five games in all competitions, Birmingham have two wins, a draw and two losses. Jay Stansfield opened the scoring early on in the second half for Birmingham, but an own goal from Krystian Bielik and a goal from Milutin Osmajic gave Preston the 2 - 1 win. The visit from QPR ended in a goalless draw for The Blues, with both sides only managing four shots on target.

            Gabriel Sara and Jonathan Rowe scored within five minutes of each other early in the second half to give Norwich the 2 - 0 win over Birmingham. However, The Blues bounced back against Huddersfield. Siriki Dembele grabbed a brace and was joined on the scoresheet by Koji Miyoshi and Jordan James in a 4 - 1 win for Birmingham, with Michal Helik scoring for Huddersfield.

            The last outing for Birmingham before the international break was against West Brom. John Swift gave West Brom an early lead but a penalty from Juninho Bacuna and goals from Dion Sanderson and Gary Gardner gave The Blues the 3 - 1 win.

            Middlesbrough and Birmingham have a storied history with 123 meetings between the two teams, with the first coming in 1899. Birmingham have a slightly better record in the fixture with 47 wins in comparison to Middlesbrough’s 40 wins, with the other 36 meetings ending in a draw.

            Middlesbrough Team News

            Michael Carrick has one big long-term injury to currently manage. Lewis O’Brien sustained a fracture during the win against Watford and is set to undergo surgery that will keep him out for a lot of the season.

            Birmingham Team News

            Wayne Rooney has inherited a squad with some issues with Lee Buchanan, Keshi Anderson, George Hall, Tyler Roberts, Alfie Chang all unavailable. However, Ethan Laird could return after his hamstring injury.