Christie And Tavernier To Start – Strongest 4-2-3-1 Middlesbrough Line-Up To Face Birmingham City

Predicted Middlesbrough Line-up To Face Birmingham City In EFL Championship

Boro’s recent winning run came to an end when they lost a tasty encounter at Leeds United 2-1 at the weekend and manager Garry Monk will be hoping his side can get right back to winning ways here.

Middlesbrough face a Birmingham side almost constantly underwhelming its supporters since dropping out of the Premier League, though they can still be dangerous on their day and Boro will need to be at their best here to ensure they come away with three points.

There are no particular worries for Monk being reported out of the Boro camp before this one. The manager is likely to retain his 4-2-3-1 formation with Marcus Tavernier perhaps given another chance from the start despite being replaced at Elland Road:

Formation: 4-2-3-1

Manager: Garry Monk

GK – Darren Randolph

The 30-year-old former West Ham man was not Monk’s first choice for this position but is in line for his 18th Championship start here.

RB – Cyrus Christie

The right-back returns from international duty and has rightly condemned the minority of intellectually challenged “supporters” who aimed racist abuse at him after the Republic of Ireland’s defeat to Denmark.

Cyrus Christie

CB – Daniel Ayala

The Spaniard works well at centre-back with Gibson and is in line to start once more.

CB – Ben Gibson

The Premier League appears to beckon at some stage for the defender but for now, he must continue to concentrate on Boro and on achieving promotion.

LB – George Friend

He’s perhaps not one of the club’s stars and won’t provide a hell of a lot for the front line. However, he remains solid in this league at left-back.

CM – Jonny Howson

The ex-Leeds and Norwich man remains in good form at this level and his passing ability could be crucial on the night.

Jonny Howson (on the ball)

CM – Grant Leadbitter

Howson has plenty of potential partners in the middle but for now, Leadbitter continues in good form and is Mr. Reliable in the role.

RW – Stewart Downing

A Boro hero and now in his second spell with the club, he lacks only the pace for the Premier League now but retains all of the ability needed at the very top level.

CAM – Martin Braithwaite

Having found his feet in this position at the club, Braithwaite can be particularly dangerous behind Assombalonga and will be a massive goal threat on the night.

Britt Assombalonga

LW – Marcus Tavernier

Was replaced in the game against Leeds but this is a game which could help him to keep learning his trade and it would be nice to see him receive the chance to start again.

ST – Britt Assombalonga

The former Nottingham Forest man can be deadly against average or weak opposition and will be backed by many to find a goal or two here.

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Written by Gary Christie

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