Bristol City v Middlesborough, January 16, 3.00pm
The home side go into this fixture as outsiders, priced at 29/10. The travelling side, Middlesborough, are unsurprisingly favourites and odds on at 19/20. The draw can be backed at 12/5.
Bristol City have failed to win their last five Championship game. They make up the last spot in the relegation zone and with the teams around them at the foot of the table picking up points they will need to start following suit to give them a chance of survival. Last time out they lost out to Preston in a disappointing 2-1 home defeat. Their last win dates back to mid-December where they beat Huddersfield away from home in a 2-1 win. However this was only their fourth win of the season, a record that is fit for the relegation zone. Without averaging at least a point a game Bristol City can expect to be in the relegation fight for the foreseeable. However they did impress in the FA Cup fixture against West Brom, getting two goals away from home against the Premiership side and forcing the game into a replay next Tuesday. They will have one eye on this fixture as a decent cup run could save their season.
Middlesborough on the other were pushed out of the FA Cup by league rivals Burnley. A blessing and a curse in that every club wants a decent cup run, but now they can focus on the league and be sure that they remain at the top of the table until the end of the season. They are an impressive six points clear from their closest rivals Derby and have a game in hand. They have had an impressive last five league games, picking up the maximum points which has deservedly retained their position at the top. They will be looking to put the FA Cup behind them and win convincingly against the weaker Bristol City side. They needed an own goal last time out against Brentford to pick up the points but nevertheless, kept their momentum going.
Bristol City are likely to sit back in this fixture, probably play with one up front which can leave their attacking force depleted and isolated. A team of Middlesborough’s standard should not have too much trouble breaking down the opposition.
Middlesborough to win by 2 goals – 9/2