City welcome relegation rivals Middlesbrough to the KCOM on Wednesday night in what is a classic example of a bottom of the table ‘six pointer’.
Both sides currently find themselves in the bottom three, and will have been eyeing up Wednesday’s fixture for a long time as an opportunity to put three points on the board. There is still certainly hope for City and Boro, but a loss for either team under the lights at the KCOM would surely prove fatal for their chances of survival.
Steve Agnew returns to his old stomping ground having worked under Steve Bruce during his time at the Tigers, and he will be looking to record his first win as Boro’s caretaker manager. His side produced a solid performance to take a 0-0 draw away at Swansea on Sunday, yet it is wins they need if they are to retain their Premier League status come 21st May.
City fans can take comfort in Marco Silva’s outstanding record in managing teams at home – the man who is looking to perform a ‘miracle’ by keeping City up has not lost a home league game as manager in over three years (spanning four different clubs). At the KCOM Silva has led the Tigers to six wins in seven, but the harsh reality is that this will count for nothing if Boro come out on top on Wednesday.
City looked far more effectual playing a 4-4-2 system than they did in a 3-5-2 in the win over West Ham, so Kamil Grosicki could be recalled to the starting line-up on Wednesday at the expense of Curtis Davies. Harry Maguire and Andrea Ranocchia both picked up knocks on Saturday but should be fit to play.
Boro left-back Fabio has been ruled out after suffering concussion in the game at Swansea, and George Friend looks favourite to replace him. There could be changes up front for Agnew’s side who have netted a miserable four Premier League goals since Christmas.
Given City’s recent home record it is no surprise that the bookies fancy us to win, with most offering odds around EVS. Boro are outsiders at 3/1, with the draw – a result that would suit neither team – at 9/4.
Harry Drew (@hdrew95)