Sunday, February 6
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Jan 29, 2022 at 3pm UK
CoventryCoventry City
Sporar (58')
Taylor (90+1'), Lumley (90+3')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Shipley (64')

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

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

Middlesbrough and Coventry City square off on Saturday afternoon with just two points separating the clubs in the Championship standings.

The teams currently occupy eighth and ninth position respectively, although the visitors possess a game in hand ahead of their trip to the Riverside Stadium.

Match preview

Having not suffered defeat since the end of November, it was assumed in some quarters that Middlesbrough going to promotion rivals Blackburn Rovers and continuing their good form was a foregone conclusion.

However, the break in Championship action has seemingly done Chris Wilder's team no favours as they succumbed to a 1-0 defeat at Ewood Park.

With a much-changed side having featured in the FA Cup earlier this month, Boro's first-string have played just two second tier games since the turn of the year, while an array of fresh faces have also come through the door.

Naturally, there will be a bedding-in period of some kind, but Wilder needs his side to rediscover their previous momentum having also struggled to see off Reading in the previous game.

On the plus side, Boro head into this contest as the only team in the division to currently be on a four-match winning streak on home territory.

Nevertheless, they welcome a Coventry side to the Riverside Stadium who have avoided defeat in their last five Championship fixtures on the road, by far their best run of the campaign.

That return has been in sharp contrast to their overall form in the second tier, but their only two wins in nine matches have both come in the last three outings.

Having slipped towards the mid-table spots, Mark Robins's team desperately needed all three points against Stoke City - a direct rival for the playoffs - on Tuesday night.

A 1-0 triumph was achieved courtesy of a goal from Viktor Gyokeres, who finally ended a near-four-month wait for his 10th Championship goal of the season.

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

Middlesbrough form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • L

Coventry City Championship form:
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • W

Coventry City form (all competitions):
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W

Team News

Middlesbrough will almost certainly make an alteration in the final third with either Folarin Balogun or Duncan Watmore taking the place of Aaron Connolly.

Barring any late issues, the remainder of the team could stay the same, although Sol Bamba and Martin Payero are options in defence and midfield if Wilder wishes to freshen up his team.

Robins may also feel inclined to make minimal alterations to his Coventry team after they got the better of Stoke on Tuesday night.

Julien Da Costa could come back into the team at right wing-back in place of Josh Eccles, but the likes of Callum O'Hare and Martyn Waghorn will likely remain among the replacements.

Jake Bidwell will continue at left wing-back after making a positive impression on his first start for the club.

Middlesbrough possible starting lineup:
Lumley; Dijksteel, Fry, McNair; Jones, Crooks, Howson, Tavernier, Taylor; Watmore, Sporar

Coventry City possible starting lineup:
Moore; Hyam, McFadzean, Clarke-Salter; Da Costa, Sheaf, Hamer, Bidwell; Allen, Shipley; Gyokeres

We say: Middlesbrough 2-1 Coventry City

This match feels like a must-not-lose rather a must-win, and that could lead to a tense occasion. Nevertheless, taking everything into consideration, we can only see a narrow victory for the hosts, who may outlast their opponents on home territory.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 2.5 goals 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.Under 2.5:data

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