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Folarin Balogun starts: The predicted Middlesbrough XI to face Cardiff City tonight

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Middlesbrough host Cardiff City this evening in a must-win game to reignite their play-off hopes.

Chris Wilder’s men looked like automatic promotion contenders at one stage, but having picked up just two points from a possible 15, scoring one goal in their last five, even the top six may prove a bridge too far at this stage.

The Bluebirds have nothing to play for and have lost three on the bounce, presenting no excuses to Boro, failing to win the game will have them four or five points off of sixth spot with two games remaining, in need of a miracle.

Matt Crooks will miss out to serve the final game of his three-game ban for an accumulation of yellow cards, while Dael Fry remains sidelined and key man Marcus Tavernier faces a late fitness test.

Martin Payero made his return from injury as a late substitute at Swansea City at the weekend, but it may well be too soon for the Argentinian to start.

Sammy Ameobi and Darnell Fisher are long term absentees.

Here, we are predicting two changes from the side that took a point at Swansea last time out, to line-up at The Riverside this evening…

Folarin Balogun comes in for Josh Coburn, the Arsenal loanee is arguably the most talented striker on their books and though he was an unused substitute last time out he should be called upon in a must-win game.

Andraz Sporar replaces Duncan Watmore as the second alteration, with the former Sunderland man more effective from the bench anyway.

Only die-hard Middlesbrough supporters will get at least 20/25 on this higher or lower quiz

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Is the capacity of the Riverside Stadium higher or lower than 36,000

Should Tavernier not make it and Payero be unfit to start, then the natural re-jig would be for Paddy McNair to step into midfield, Marc Bola to slot in at left centre back and for Neil Taylor to take his place at left wing back.

Lee Peltier would also be an option for a similar shuffling of the pack.


Passionate Football League obsessive and long-suffering Charlton Athletic supporter.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Folarin Balogun starts: The predicted Middlesbrough XI to face Cardiff City tonight

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