Middlesbrough vs Cardiff City preview: How to watch, kick-off time, team news predicted lineups and ones to watch
(Photo by Ian Cook - CameraSport via Getty Images)

Ninth place welcome sixth in Saturday's clash between Middlesbrough and Cardiff City.

Neil Warnock's side have had a mixed run of form recently having won just twice in their last eight. However, things have started to look up for Boro in their last few games with them winning two of their last three. 

Cardiff head into the tie in sublime form having won their last six games. Their latest victory came in midweek against Bournemouth when they impressively won 2-1 away from home.  The Bluebirds are also unbeaten in ten. 

• Team news

Marcus Tavernier, Marcus BrowneAshely Fletcher and Yannick Bolasie are all on Boro's injury list and are set to miss Saturday's fixture. 

Warnock could mix up his front men after Tuesday's loss against Bristol City with Chuba Akpom and Britt Assombalonga both in for a shout of a return. 

Duncan Watmore started the Bristol City game upfront but it is likely he will return to his preferred midfield role on the weekend. 

Cardiff will be without Joe Ralls, Isaac Vassell, Lee Tomlin and Jordi Osei-Tutu as they are all still recovering from injuries. 

Sheyi Ojo and Leandro Bacuna have been Mick McCarthy's go-to players off the bench since his arrival and their recent impacts could mean they are pushing for a start.

Despite the performances of Ojo and Bacuna, McCarthy is unlikely to alter his starting XI after his sides brilliant current run of form.

• Predicted lineups 

Middlesbrough:

Bettinelli; McNair, Dijksteel, Fry; Fisher, Morsy, Howson, Bola; Watmore; Akpom, Assombalonga.

Warnock originally set his team up in a 4-3-3 formation but of late he has opted for a 3-5-2 setup. Darnell Fisher and Marc Bola are the likely wing-backs with Sam Morsy and Jonathan Howson holding in midfield. Watmore could slot into the number ten role with Akpom and Assombalonga up top.

Cardiff City:

Phillips; Flint, Nelson, Morrison; Ng, Pack, Vaulks, Bennett; Wilson; Moore, Murphy.

Since McCarthy's arrival, he has stuck with the 3-5-2 formation and it has served him extremely well. Perry Ng and Joseph Bennett operate as wing-backs, Harry Wilson has a free-role in the number ten and Keiffer Moore has struck an emphatic forward partnership with Josh Murphy.

• Ones to watch

Middlesbrough - Duncan Watmore

Watmore has the versatility to play in any attacking or midfield position. This season he has played on both flanks, upfront and also as a number ten.

The 26-year-old's technical ability is of a top-level, with his close control and quick feet often causing opposing defenders issues. 

He is Middlesbrough's top scorer this season with six goals. He also has one assist to his name but has only started 13 league games. Watmore has averaged a goal every 166 minutes this season and is Boro's go-to man in the attacking department. 

In December, Watmore won the SkyBet Championship Player of The Month award and has been an important figure in Boro's team when he has been fit. 

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Cardiff City - Kieffer Moore

28-year-old Moore has been Cardiff's most consistent performer so far this campaign. He has hit the net 15 times, notched one assist and has the highest average rating in the whole Cardiff squad. 

Moore has a brilliant ability to hold the ball up and bring others into play. He can see and execute a pass in the final third and he rarely makes the wrong decision in an attacking sense. 

The Welshman has a deadly instinct to sniff out a chance in front of goal and he has proved this season that he can score all types of goals. Seven of Moore's goals have come with his right foot, four-game been tucked away with his left and he has headed the ball home four times. 

All of Moore's goals have come from inside the box and if Boro do not keep close tabs on him then he will punish them, especially if a chance pops up inside the 18-yard area. 

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• Previous meetings

Out of the last 15 meetings between these two, it has been fairly even. Boro have won seven, Cardiff have won seven and there has been one draw.

However, in their last five meetings, Middlesbrough are without a win. The Bluebirds have won four and there latest affair ended a 1-1 draw.

In that game, George Saville put Boro ahead before Ojo scored 20 minutes from time to equalise. 

The last time Middlesbrough won this fixture was right back in February 2016 when a Matthew Connolly own goal and second-half strikes fro Gaston Ramirez and David Nugent sealed a 3-1 win for the North East side.

Last time out:

• Where to watch

This game kicks off at 15:00 BST on Saturday 27 February 2021.

For Boro fans, the game can be watched by purchasing a live video match pass from the streaming section of Middlesbrough's website found here.

The same process can be followed for Cardiff fans by clicking on the Cardiff City TV section of their website.

Both are for a cost of £10.

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