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Under Tony Pulis, Middlesbrough are looking to get their promotion push back on track. However, they face a tough task at a consistent Cardiff City who are fresh from their comfortable 2-0 win over Bolton in midweek.
The Bluebirds won’t look to make too many changes to a settled line-up but Jamie Ward had to leave the field early the other night and may not be ready to play for some time.
Neil Warnock may be tempted to return to a 4-1-4-1 formation with Sol Bamba back in a line-up which should look something like this:
The regular ‘keeper should be in charge of things back there once again in a match which could go a long way in deciding the immediate future of these sides.
Another start for the full-back you would think. His support for Callum Paterson will be vital.
The big centre-half scored the other night and has been one of the most solid performers in the entire league this season.
Has formed a decent partnership with Morrison and it’s unlikely that Neil Warnock will want to break them up just yet.
Joe Bennett will be looking for a recall, however, a good performance and a goal from Traore against Bolton may see him keeping his place.
There may be a change of formation with Bamba coming back into a role he occupied in the early parts of the season to help nullify Boro’s attacking threat.
The full-back turned winger has been in great form and relishes this sort of role.
Solid in the middle alongside Ralls of late, Grujic is expected to start once more and will need to have a huge influence on the game.
Has shown real quality in the middle of the park this season and may be allowed even more freedom to bomb into the opposition area this time around.
May return to his normal role with a slight change in shape and can continue his fine goalscoring form from this position this season.
Cardiff are grateful to have the big striker back in the starting XI and his presence will be vital once more. Even when not scoring, as was the case against Bolton, his all-round play is important to the team and so he is sure to start.