Middlesbrough v Cardiff

10 December 2010 01:46
Middlesbrough will be without defender David Wheater, who is suspended after picking up his fifth booking of the season in Saturday's loss at Coventry.Barry Robson has recovered from the virus which kept him out of that game, but striker Leroy Lita is now ill and could miss out. [LNB]Cardiff City striker Jay Bothroyd is out with a hamstring problem. [LNB]But Darcy Blake has recovered from illness and Jason Koumas is likely to be passed fit following a toe injury. [LNB][LNB] MATCH PREVIEW Recently knocked off the top of the table and with only one win in six matches, these are tough times for Cardiff. But if they could choose a team to face next, they could be forgiven for choosing Middlesbrough. [LNB]Cardiff have been a bogey side for Boro, who have suffered four consecutive defeats against the Welsh club and have not beaten them since a victory at Ayresome Park over 26 years ago. [LNB]And Boro would gladly swap their lowly position for the pressure Cardiff are facing at the opposite end of the Championship. The Teessiders are one off the bottom of the table and have lost nine of their last 13 games, winning only two of them. [LNB]Another defeat would add to their woes and will leave them bottom of the pile if Preston, who seem to be improving, win at home to Ipswich. It would also mean an unrivalled seventh away victory of the season for Cardiff. [LNB][LNB] MATCH FACTS Head-to-head[LNB]• Cardiff are unbeaten in six matches against Boro. [LNB] Have your say on this match • Their win at the Riverside Stadium last season was Cardiff's first victory on Teesside for 38 years. [LNB]Middlesbrough[LNB]• Since the appointment of Tony Mowbray as manager, Boro have won two matches, drawn one and lost four. [LNB]• They have lost all but one of their 10 matches this season against teams currently in the bottom half of the table. [LNB]• Boro's tally of 18 points after 20 games is their worst return for a decade. [LNB]• On average, they have scored one goal every six attempts on target, which is the worst ratio in the division. [LNB]Cardiff[LNB]• Cardiff are one of only two teams yet to have a penalty scored against them in the Championship this season. [LNB]• The Bluebirds have not kept a clean sheet in seven matches, and have managed only one in 11. [LNB]• Craig Bellamy is three goals away from the 150th of his career.

Source: BBC_Sport