Middlesbrough vs Cardiff predictions: Goals to flow at the Riverside
- Middlesbrough have won their last three games in all competitions
- Cardiff have won their last four in the Championship
- Recommended bet: Over 3.5 goals
There are signs that Middlesbrough are starting to get things together, but they face a real test on Tuesday when Cardiff City travel to Teesside.
Michael Carrick's side have won their last three in all competitions and will be looking to maintain their momentum ahead of Saturday's trip to Sunderland.
Cardiff's first and so far only away win of the season came against the Black Cats, helping them win their last four and Erol Bulut has added an element of organisation to the side since taking over in the summer.
They can still be prone to defensive mishaps, squandering a 2-0 lead in September's 3-2 defeat at Ipswich and he will know they are still far from the finished article.
Both meetings between the sides in 2022-23 featured over 3.5 goals and with Boro winning 3-2 at Watford on Saturday, more are expected at the Riverside.
On-loan Lewis O'Brien is expected to face a long spell on the sidelines after suffering an ankle injury at Watford and Carrick may be struggling for options at left-back. The midfielder had been filling in for Alex Bangura, who is still out with a hamstring issue.
Tommy Smith and Lukas Engel are candidates to take over, but Carrick could otherwise stick with the side that won at Vicarage Road.
Yakou Meite is unlikely to feature for Cardiff after succumbing to a hamstring injury just 11 minutes into Saturday's 2-0 win over Rotherham.
Colleagues Aaron Ramsey (knee), Callum O'Dowda (leg) and Josh Bowler (calf) are also set to miss out and Bulut may follow a similar plan to Carrick by doing his best to stick with a winning side.
After a slow start, Middlesbrough look to be finding their form, lifting themselves out of the bottom three with a run of a draw and two victories in the Championship, while they are also through to the last-16 of the Carabao Cup.
Both teams have scored in their last four league games, while that was also the case in Cardiff's first three away matches of the season, a run that ended with their 1-0 win at Sunderland on September 24th.
That was the Bluebirds' first away victory of the season but they won 3-2 at the Riverside on their last visit in September 2022.
Boro got revenge with a 3-1 win in the Welsh capital in February and those two results add to the belief that this could be an open game.
Few would have expected Cardiff to enjoy such a solid start to the season and they head to Teesside sat sixth in the table on 16 points.
That is twice as many as Boro, who were tipped to go well from the off after falling just short of Wembley last term and may now be starting to find their previous form.
With 84 goals, they were the second-highest scorers in last season's Championship but also conceded 56, just two fewer than Cardiff, who finished 21st.
The Bluebirds are a better side under Bulut than they were under his various predecessors and, having won at Sunderland last month, can more than play their part in what should be a fine contest.
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