Bristol City v Middlesbrough
Championship Kick Off Saturday 18th August 15.00 pm
BOTH these sides entertained lower league opposition in the midweek Cup ties and both struggled.
Bristol City hosted Plymouth and went down to the only goal of the game.
Middlesbrough entertained Notts County and Tony Pullis gave debuts to 7 Academy players and despite being behind on three occasions they fought hard to ean a 3-3 draw. They then kept the nerves to win 4-2 on penalties.
Bristol City currently lie 14th in the league after two draws from their opening two games, at home to Nottingham Forest and away at Bolton. Lee Johnson will be hoping to record their first win.
Middlesbrough with 7 points out of nine still sit proudly at the top of the league although just one point ahead of Leeds United, Aston Villa and Swansea who all have a game in hand. Tony Pullis was pleased that the two home games produced two clean sheets and will look for a similar performance on Saturday. He was also very pleased with the performance of the Academy players on Tuesday but reiterated the need to improve the squad with more experience and quality.
The Boro will be eager to continue their unbeaten start but will have to go some to emulate the start of the 2011/2012 season which lasted 11 games. For the Boro to win the stats are totally against them with only 4 wins from the last 23 visits, I also feel their will be goals as the last 0-0 was in 1993/94.
Saturday sees the return to Ashton Gate of a favourite in the shape of Aden Flint who moved to Middlesbrough in the summer and is affectionately known as ‘Lurch' to the Bristol fans as he is well over 6 feet tall. Paddy McNair another Summer signing played a full game in midweek and Daniel Ayala played 60 minutes and both may be in contention to start.