Middlesbrough vs Cardiff Preview, Betting Tips and Odds

Middlesbrough vs Cardiff Preview, Betting Tips and Odds

Old foes complicate playoff chase
The end of the Championship season is setting up quite nicely, with this weekend bringing managers and their former clubs together in a neat little plotline. As Cardiff close in on sixth under manager Neil Harris, their revival is threatened by Millwall – the club who Harris left midseason.

He swapped London for Cardiff in late-2019, following Neil Warnock’s dismissal by the Welsh side. He followed his alleged final job in football by showing up at Middlesbrough last month. As he tries to lead Boro to safety, his former side needs to see off Warnock’s current charges, or Harris could be pipped to the post by his former club.

Warnock the road warrior
Since arriving at the Riverside, Neil Warnock has had more joy away from it. His Middlesbrough side has won three of his first six games in charge to move clear of the drop zone, but all of those wins have come on the road. Since the restart, Boro has lost three straight home matches, including defeats to sides like QPR and Bristol City who had been on awful runs.

Boro is falling short at their own ground, winning just six of 22 games here this term. Their chances of a result without home support behind them don’t look great. It’s likely to be a more even playing field, while the hosts have already had issues holding off better quality sides this season. Boro has failed to win at home to a top-half team this term, losing five of nine clashes with the current top 10.

No away day blues for Bluebirds
Like Middlesbrough, Cardiff has had plenty of joy on the road themselves, with Harris guiding his team towards the playoffs after a string of wins on the road. Cardiff has won five of their last seven away games in the Championship – indeed, no side has won more often away from home in the competition in 2020 (five).

Our predictions back another Cardiff victory, as they have impressed against the bottom six this term. They’ve taken 12 points from six clashes, while this meeting takes them to the side with the fourth-worst home record this term. Given how the fixtures fall, this is made or break for Cardiff. A defeat could see them fall to eighth, while a win means they need to beat a hapless Hull side on the final day.

We are backing Cardiff to do it, having impressed with two away wins from three since the restart. The Bluebirds look good value on the Draw No Bet market, given that they have the fourth-best away record in the division since Harris took charge, winning seven and losing just four of 14 trips. Along with an away win, we’re backing a fourth 1-0 away win for the Bluebirds this weekend.

Key Fact
Middlesbrough have lost all three home matches since the restart
Boro hasn’t won at home to a top-half side this season, losing five of nine against the top 10.
No Championship side has more away wins in 2020 than Cardiff.
Cardiff has the fourth-best away record since Neill Harris arrived, with all of their away wins coming under his watch.
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