Middlesbrough sit top of the Sky Bet Championship table and travel to managerless Bristol City this afternoon in a crucial battle for both sides.
Aitor Karanka’s Boro sit five points clear at the top of the table and, with a game in hand over second place Hull City, will be looking to maintain that gap with victory at Ashton Gate today.
Middlesbrough have won the last five games in the Championship, including a win at former leaders Brighton and Hove Albion back in December.
Bristol City sacked manager Steve Cotterill, so John Pemberton is the interim manager for the visit of table topping Middlesbrough. The Robins have not won in six games, and have missed out on several transfer targets so far in this window.
Confidence must be low in the red half of Bristol, and they could not face a sterner test than the league leaders this afternoon.
Middlesbrough have kept nine clean sheets in a row, and you probably wouldn’t bet against them making it ten today.
FootballLeagueWorld writer Anthony Yeo identifies three things to look out for in this afternoon’s match…
1) David Nugent
Nugent is not among the leading scorers in the Championship, with just five goals in the 21 games he has played in, but that is not all he brings to the table.
He holds the ball up, links up play, wins knock downs, harasses defenders, has a great team ethic and presses from the front – a real team player.
He will be too powerful for the centre backs of Bristol City, and I can only see one winner.
2) Albert Adomah
The right winger for Middlesbrough is probably having his best season at the Riverside Stadium.
The 28 year old has scored six goals and has several assists this season and, working in tandem with Stewart Downing, they have formed a deadly wing combination that many teams have failed to cope with this season.
His pace and trickery with the ball will provide the home defence many problems and, if they double up on him, they leave Downing free on the other flank. It will be a difficult juggling act for the caretaker manager.
3) Frank Fielding
The Bristol City keeper may well be the busier of the two keepers this afternoon.
He has had to pick the ball out of his net 46 times and may well have to do it a few more times during the match against Middlesbrough.
Fielding is a good keeper but, unfortunately for him, he has not had the best protection in front of him, and if the home side want to get something from the game, Fielding will have to be on top form.
Bristol City and Middlesbrough fans… What will the score be in this game? Will Bristol City stay up? Will Middlesbrough win the title? Let us know your thoughts and opinions in the comments below!