Middlesbrough vs Birmingham City preview: How to watch, kick-off time, team news, predicted lineups and ones to watch
Middlesbrough's Chuba Akpom (right) celebrates scoring his side's third goal during the Sky Bet Championship match between Wycombe Wanderers and Middlesbrough at Adams Park on January 2, 2021 in High Wycombe, England. (Photo by Andrew Kearns - CameraSport via Getty Images)

Neil Warnock's Middlesbrough are looking to go into the play-off places with all three points on Saturday.

Middlesbrough come into this one winning four of their last six, winning their last Championship game two weeks ago against Wycombe Wanderers.

Aitor Karanka's Birmingham City will be wanting to distance themselves from the relegation places, currently sitting just four points clear.

After a solid display in their 3-0 defeat to Manchester City last weekend in the FA Cup, they will be looking to build on that performance with a win.

Team news

Middlesbrough are low on the injury front, but Ashley Fletcher is still out with a hamstring injury, while Grant Hall is still out with a long-term thigh injury.

Birmingham will be without Alen Halilovic and Gary Gardner because of groin injuries, while Marc Roberts and Kristian Pedersen may return after being out because of knocks.

Predicted lineups

Middlesbrough:

Bettinelli; Dijksteel, Fry, McNair, Bola, Morsy, Saville, Browne, Tavernier, Johnson, Akpom.

Birmingham:

Etheridge; Dacres-Cogley, San Jose, Clarke-Salter, Friend Kieftenbeld, Sunjic, Sanchez, McGree, Leko, Jutkiewicz.

Ones to watch

Paddy McNair

Neil Warnock said that he couldn't think of a better player he has ever managed than McNair, which is saying something when it comes from such an experienced manager as Warnock.

A move to centre-back this season has proved to be a brilliant move for the Northern Irishman, with him being one of the best this season in the division. Expect him to be a nuisance for the Birmingham attack.

Ivan Sanchez

Arriving from Spain in the summer, Sanchez is getting to grips with life in England but is adapting well.

One goal and three assists already this season, his pace and trickery on the right-hand side has proved beneficial for the Blues on the counter-attack, and Warnock is for sure going to want to keep him contained.

Previous meetings

These two sides last met four weeks ago at St Andrews, when Middlesbrough picked up a comfortable 1-4 victory, goals coming from Britt Assombalonga, George Saville, and a brace from Lewis Wing.

How to watch

This match will kick-off at 12:30 pm on Saturday, January 15, and is available to watch on Sky Sports Football.

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