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Match Previews

PREVIEW: Sky Blues Host Middlesbrough Tonight

City are aiming to secure back-to-back wins at St Andrew's...

2 March 2021

The Sky Blues host Middlesbrough at St Andrew’s on Tuesday night. Here’s everything you need to know about our opponents.

Fact file

Name: Middlesbrough

Founded: 1876

Stadium: Riverside Stadium (first opened 1995)

Capacity: 34,000

Nickname: The Boro

Address: Riverside Stadium, Middlesbrough, TS3 6RS

Pitch Size: 115 x 75 yards

Riverside Stadium.jpg

The Opposition

Middlesbrough are currently ninth in the Championship table, five points away from the play-off places under veteran manager Neil Warnock.

Boro’s top scorer is Duncan Watmore who has scored six goals this season whilst Marvin Johnson has provided five assists.

The Teesside club have been in indifferent form of late and drew 1-1 at home with in-form Cardiff City last weekend.

Neil Warnock.jpg

Manager

Neil Warnock was appointed as Middlesbrough manager in June 2020, the 16th club of his managerial career.

Warnock began his coaching career in non-league football and after spells at Gainsborough Trinity and Burton Albion, he guided Scarborough to the 1986/87 Conference title.

Another successful stint with Notts County would follow, achieving back-to-back promotions with the Magpies, taking them from the third division into the first division, before being sacked after they relegated from the top flight in 1991/92.

After preserving Torquay United’s Football League status, Warnock led Huddersfield Town to promotion, beating Bristol Rovers in the Division Two play-off final at Wembley.

The following season he repeated the feat with Plymouth Argyle, guiding the Pilgrims to the Division Three play-off final where they secured a 1-0 win against Darlington.

However, Warnock would suffer relegation with both Oldham and Bury before enjoying an eight-year stint in charge of his boyhood club Sheffield United.

Warnock reached the semi-finals of both the League and FA Cup in 2002/03 and was beaten in that year’s First Division play-off final by Wolverhampton Wanderers.

He finally took the Blades into the Premier League in 2005/06 after a second-place finish in the league but would spend just one campaign back in the top flight after suffering relegation on the final day of the Premier League season.

After a spell in charge of Crystal Palace, Warnock led Queens Park Rangers to the 2010/11 Championship title but was sacked with the club lingering above the relegation zone in January 2012.

The 72-year-old had brief stints in charge of Leeds United, Palace and a caretaker spell in charge of QPR, before becoming Rotherham United manager in February 2016.

Warnock miraculously kept the club in the Championship, going on an 11-game unbeaten run to take them out of the relegation zone and finish nine points clear of the drop.

He left the Millers at the end of the season and returned to management with Cardiff City in October that same year, achieving the eighth promotion of his career with the Bluebirds at the end of the 2017/18 season.

However, he once again struggled in the top flight, with Cardiff relegated back to the second tier after spending just one season in the Premier League.

Warnock took over from Jonathan Woodgate at the Riverside Stadium last season and helped the club remain in the Championship before signing an extended deal with the club this summer.

With Middlesbrough, Warnock has managed 44 matches recording 18 wins, eight draws and eight defeats.

Middlesbrough Fans.jpg

Last Six Games

Drew – Middlesbrough 1-1 Cardiff (Sky Bet Championship)

Lost – Middlesbrough 1-3 Bristol City (Sky Bet Championship)

Won – Reading 0-2 Middlesbrough (Sky Bet Championship)

Won – Middlesbrough 2-1 Huddersfield (Sky Bet Championship)

Lost – Derby 2-1 Middlesbrough (Sky Bet Championship)

Lost – Middlesbrough 1-4 Brentford (Sky Bet Championship)

Last Meeting vs Middlesbrough.jpg

Last Time We Met

The two sides last met earlier this season when the Sky Blues suffered a 2-0 defeat after conceding two late goals at the Riverside Stadium.

Middlesbrough were denied an opener when Marko Marosi comfortably parried Marcus Tavernier’s effort to safety.

The Sky Blues keeper then pushed the ball to the edge of the penalty area to deny Boro a clear shot on goal with Sam Morsy’s deflected effort hitting the crossbar from the follow up.

City were finally breached in the final 10 minutes when Britt Assombalonga was slipped through by Morsy and coolly fired past Marosi into the left-hand corner of the goal to put Boro ahead.

Neil Warnock’s side doubled their lead in injury-time when Djed Spence latched onto a through ball and went past Marosi before firing into an empty net, catching City on the counter attack as the Sky Blues went in search of an equaliser.

Head-to-Head Record

Sky Blues Wins – 16

Draws – 15

Middlesbrough Wins – 17

Club Connections

Noel Whelan.jpg

Noel Whelan

Forward Noel Whelan made over 100 appearances for the Sky Blues before spending three years with Middlesbrough in the Premier League.

Whelan came through Leeds United’s academy and won the FA Youth Cup with the Elland Road club, beating Manchester United’s class of 92 squad in the final.

He made over half a century of appearances for Leeds before joining the Sky Blues in December 1995 and would go on to make 155 appearances for City over the next five years scoring 39 goals.

The former England youth international made the switch to Middlesbrough in August 2000 and spent three seasons at the Riverside Stadium, which included a loan spell with Crystal Palace, before having short spells with Millwall and Derby County.

He then spent one season with Aberdeen and Boston United respectively before seeing out his career with Livingston, Dunfermline Athletic, Harrogate Town and Darlington.

Dimitrios Konstantopoulos.jpg

Dimitrios Konstantopoulos

Former Greece international goalkeeper Dimitrios Konstantopoulos spent three years with the Sky Blues before enjoying a six-year spell with Middlesbrough later in his career.

Konstantopoulos began his professional career with Kalamata in his native Greece and spent a season with Egaleo before returning to Kalamata for a second spell with the Greek side.

After one season with Portuguese club Farense, Konstantopoulos moved to Hartlepool United in October 2003 after a successful trial period and went on to make over 100 appearances for the club across four seasons.

He joined the Sky Blues in June 2007 and made 28 appearances for City over the space of three seasons, which included loan spells with Welsh duo Swansea City and Cardiff City, before returning to Greece with Kerkyra.

The 42-year-old earned his sole international cap whilst with Kerkyra and moved to domestic giants AEK Athens where he played for two seasons before returning to England with Middlesbrough in August 2013.

He was the club’s the first choice keeper for two seasons, playing in the Championship play-off final defeat against Norwich City in 2014/15 before playing in every match the following season at Boro secured promotion back to the Premier League.

Konstantopoulos spent another three seasons on Teesside featuring in cup competitions before departing at the end of the 2018/19 season having made over 100 appearances for the club.

He has since had a brief spell with Hartlepool United and signed for non-league club Thornaby in August 2020.

Graham Scott.jpg

Match Officials

Graham Scott will be the man in the middle on Tuesday night, taking charge of his 18th game of the 2020/21 season.

He last refereed the Sky Blues in February earlier this year when City played out a goalless draw with Watford at St Andrew’s.

This will be Scott’s 13th season as a Football League referee and he has officiated the Sky Blues on six previous occasions, with City winning three, drawing two and losing one of those matches.

So far, Scott has awarded 42 yellow cards and four red cards across 17 matches in the Premier League, Championship, Emirates FA Cup and Carabao Cup.

He will be assisted by Ian Hussin and Neil Davies with Anthony Blackhouse acting as fourth official.


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