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Oct 23, 2021 at 12.30pm UK
CardiffCardiff City

Pack (28'), McGuinness (34'), Flint (70')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Sporar (35' pen.), Payero (74')
Ikpeazu (38')

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

:Headline: Preview: Cardiff City vs. Middlesbrough - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Saturday's Championship match between Cardiff City and Middlesbrough, including prediction, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Cardiff City play host to former manager Neil Warnock's Middlesbrough on Saturday lunchtime seeking to put a halt to their worst run of form since 1934.

The Bluebirds are hovering right above the relegation zone on the back of seven successive defeats, whereas Boro are up in 10th thanks to back-to-back victories.

Match preview

Not many expected Mick McCarthy to still be in charge for Cardiff's trip to Fulham following their humiliating 3-0 loss at the hands of rivals Swansea City three days prior.

Indeed, even City CEO Ken Choo hinted ahead of the game that McCarthy appeared to be on his way out, but the Yorkshireman remains in charge for this visit of Boro.

McCarthy made mass changes for the Fulham match, including a change of formation, and the Bluebirds performed well for 45 minutes against promotion-chasing Fulham.

However, goals from Tom Cairney on his return from a long-term injury and Aleksandar Mitrovic - his 13th in 13 games this term - condemned Cardiff to yet another loss.

Rather worryingly, the Welsh side have scored just once across their seven game losing run - and even that was a consolation in a 5-1 thumping at the hands of Blackburn Rovers.

A win against Boro may well keep McCarthy in the job for a bit longer, but many of those in attendance would no doubt much rather have opposite number Warnock in the home dugout.

The veteran boss guided the Bluebirds to promotion in 2018 and is now looking to do likewise with Middlesbrough in his second season in charge at the Riverside Stadium.

The Smoggies made a pretty underwhelming start to the season, but three 2-0 wins in their last four matches have helped move them to within three points of the playoffs.

Those victories have each come at home, with their last two away games ending in defeat, but Cardiff have lost their last five home matches in all competitions.

Cardiff City Championship form:
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L

Middlesbrough Championship form:
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W

Team News

Knowing that something had to give following the loss to Swansea, McCarthy reverted to a back four against Fulham and dropped skipper Sean Morrison to the bench.

Perry Ng and Joel Bagan were brought in from the cold, while Rubin Colwill was also handed a first start since August just off striker Kieffer Moore, who has struggled this term.

Cardiff may have fallen to a 2-0 loss at Craven Cottage, but McCarthy will take positives from the first half and may name a similar XI here.

As for Middlesbrough, Warnock brought in Isaiah Jones and Lee Peltier for the 2-0 win over Barnsley in midweek and should go with a near-identical lineup on Saturday.

However, Boro have failed to score in four of their last five away league games, so the ex-Cardiff boss may could always spring a surprise and alter formation slightly.

Former Bluebirds favourites Sol Bamba and Peltier, who only missed the Peterborough win because of suspension, seem certain to start at the back.

Cardiff City possible starting lineup:
Smithies; Ng, Flint, McGuiness, Bagan; Vaulks, Pack; Giles, Bowen, Colwill; Moore

Middlesbrough possible starting lineup:
Lumley; McNair, Bamba, Peltier; Tavernier, Crooks, Howson, Jones; Payero, Sporar, Watmore

We say: Cardiff City 1-1 Middlesbrough

Cardiff are on their worst run of form at home since 1974 and never before have they lost six games on the bounce on their own patch.

Boro have themselves lost successive games on their travels, though, and despite being in better form overall, we can see Warnock's men being held to a draw on Saturday.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home/Away:data

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