Birmingham City v Boro Preview

Birmingham City v Boro Preview

Boro travel to St Andrew's tomorrow night and a win could see them with one foot in the Premier League.

The race for promotion is coming to an end, and with Brighton, Boro and Burnley all sitting on 87 points, it's crucial Karanka's men make the most of their remaining opportunity's.

Three points would put Boro top of the table (for now), with Burnley and Brighton not playing until Monday afternoon.

Should the Teessiders secure the victory, a superior goal difference over Brighton would mean that Boro only need to draw on the final day of the season to secure promotion.

For the nerves, just keep it 'simple' and win them both!

St Andrew's hasn't been the happiest of hunting grounds for Boro over the years; winning only once in their last 18 visits - stretching back as far as 1978.

But let's be optimistic, this Boro side don't follow trends and have smashed all the regular away hoodoos so far this season - recording impressive victories at Portman Road, Hillsborough and even The City Ground.

That's better, positivity.

Sticking with that, it's a Friday night game and under Aitor Karanka, there's no day Boro love more.

100% record

It's 10 games on a Friday night and 10 wins since Karanka took charge back in November 2013.

Maybe just this once we can thank Sky for rearranging it...

Could the curse of the former player come back to haunt Boro?

Should Middlesbrough win the league there's no doubt that Diego Fabbrini will be awarded a medal for his contribution to the cause up until January. But now he's at Birmingham that may not mean as much to him.

A performance similar to the one he gave against Bolton on the opening day is the stuff of nightmares for us. Fingers crossed he has an off day.

Having said that, he's not been a permanent fixture since his return to Birmingham, struggling to get in their side due to the excellent form of Arsenal academy product, Jon Toral.

Jonathan Grounds is also a regular for the Brummies and wouldn't it be typical for him to have the game of his life?

Birmingham have already proved that they're no pushovers once this season. A 0-0 draw at the Riverside left Boro frustrated and the away side probably had the better of the chances. Nugent was handed a red card late on after a petulant kick-out at a Birmingham City player - an action that very much summed up the day for Boro.

Despite The Blues not winning in any of their five previous home games, it won't be an easy task for Karanka's side.

Over 5000 fans will make the trip from Teesside and they'll be hoping for a big improvement this time around.

By Josh Frankland

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