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Opposition report: Middlesbrough

Blues are looking to bounce back after a late defeat to Cardiff in midweek.

BCFC

A closer look at this afternoon's opponents...

FORM GUIDE

Middlesbrough have won three of their last five Sky Bet Championship matches, losing two. At present, Neil Warnock's side sit 7th in the league. Last time out, they held on for a dramatic 1-0 win over Luton Town at the Riverside. After taking the lead, the hosts had Sam Morsy sent off and the Hatters also had a penalty disallowed.

Prior to the Luton victory, Boro comfortably beat Millwall 3-0 before losing to Preston by the same score, losing 1-0 to Stoke and narrowly beating Swansea. 

October was a good month for the side from the North East as they went unbeaten and they'll be looking to maintain their form at St. Andrew's this afternoon. 

IN THE DUGOUT 

Despite saying that Cardiff City would be his last managerial job, when Middlesbrough came knocking in June, Neil Warnock couldn't resist. The job became his 16th in professional football and he successfully led a struggling Boro outfit to safety with just eight games to go last season.

Warnock's managerial career began at Gainsborough Trinity all the way back in 1980 and has seen him win promotion to the top flight on four occasions - most recently with Cardiff in 2018.

After leaving Cardiff, Warnock only needed to take charge of 12 more games to reach 1,500 games in management.

ONE TO WATCH 

After a reasonable start to the campaign, Duncan Watmore has sprung into life in recent weeks, twice bagging braces in wins over Swansea and more recently, against Millwall.

The former Sunderland man only joined Boro on a short-term contract last month but has impressed in recent weeks, with his play suggesting he could be due an extension when that deal runs out next month. 

A pacy customer, Watmore was known as the "Roadrunner" during his time on Wearside due to his willingness to run directly at defenders at speed. 

LAST TIME OUT 

In a dramatic encounter last time around, Blues were held to a 1-1 draw on Teeside but were controversially denied a late winning goal. 

Lukas Jutkiewicz had put Blues into a first half lead, before Ashley Fletcher drew the home side level. But with just three minutes to go, Jutkiewicz had the ball in the back of the net again but referee Andy Woolmer had already stopped the game after Jude Bellingham collided with Marcus Tavernier, leaving the Boro man on the deck. 

The goal was eventually ruled out - much to Blues' frustration and complaints. 

PREVIOUS KNOCKINGS 

The teams have met frequently down the years - 117 times no less. Blues hold the slight edge, with 45 games won compared to Middlesbrough's 36. There have also been 36 draws between the teams as well.

In the past six encounters, it's Middlesbrough who've enjoyed much more success- they've won four, Blues one, with one draw as well. 

DID YOU KNOW? 

Middlesbrough's finest hour came when they won the league cup in 2004 - their first and only major trophy victory. But did you know, Boro have only spent two seasons outside the top two divisions of English football - and that's a long time. The club was formed in 1876, so that's a whopping 142 years spent in today's equivalent of the Premier League and Championship. 

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