Following their 1-0 win over Reading last weekend at the Riverside Stadium, Middlesbrough will travel to Cardiff City Stadium to face Cardiff City on Saturday.
Slowly but surely, things are falling in place for Boro under the tutelage of their new manager Jonathan Woodgate, although understandably, there are a few areas they need to work on.
The Riversiders have collected 9 points from their 7 games in the 2019-20 Champions campaign and currently occupy the 13th place in the league standings.
Cardiff City are behind Middlesbrough only on goal difference and it goes without saying that the Bluebirds will pose a stern challenge for them.
Middlesbrough Team News
Jonathan Howson, George Friend and Hayden Coulson are unavailable owing to their injuries but apart from them, Woodgate has no new injury concerns.
Predicted Middlesbrough Lineup Vs Cardiff City (4-3-3)
Darren Randolph pulled off 7 saves against Reading and was impeccable between the sticks at the weekend. He is set to get the nod to start under the bar once again.
The central defensive pairing of Dael Fry and Ryan Shotton is likely to continue in the Middlesbrough lineup with the duo impressing this season.
Having played 7 league games, Shotton has mustered 1.4 tackles, 1.7 interceptions and 3.7 clearances per game on an average and has been one of the best players for his side.
Meanwhile, Anfernee Dijksteel and Marc Bola could start as the full-backs. However, they must improve their productivity going forward to cement their places in the Middlesbrough lineup.
The presence of Adam Clayton in front of the back four has been crucial as he has certainly injected a lot of resilience. Therefore, he is expected to start once again.
During his outing against Reading, Clayton carved an impressive pass completion rate of 89%. Further, he made 4 tackles, won 1 aerial duel and completed 2 dribbles.
While Paddy McNair could get yet another chance to start in the central midfield, Lewis Wing might be replaced by George Saville in the Middlesbrough lineup.
Britt Assombalonga has scored 3 goals from his 7 league outings. He will get the green light to start up front as usual and will be a key weapon for Boro in trying to break down the Cardiff backline.
Having found the back of the net against the Royals at the weekend, Marvin Johnson should be able to keep his place on the right-wing in the Middlesbrough lineup.
Ashley Fletcher will continue to operate from the left-wing and Boro will rely heavily on his pace in the final third.
Statistics Credits: Whoscored