Boro saw a two-game winning run come to an end on Tuesday evening as they suffered a 3-1 home defeat to Bristol City, with Neil Warnock's side finding themselves three goals behind at the interval.
Dael Fry registered for the hosts in the 80th minute, but it was a case of too little, too late as Bristol City left the Riverside with all three points to climb into 12th position.
Boro are currently ninth, three points behind sixth-placed Cardiff, and there is no downplaying the importance of this weekend's contest as both teams have ambitions of making the playoffs.
Warnock's team have won eight of their 16 home league matches this season, which is not a disastrous record taking everything into consideration, but they have lost five of their last six Championship fixtures at the Riverside, including heavy defeats to Rotherham United and Brentford.
Boro's recent record against Cardiff is also disappointing, meanwhile, losing four of their last five Championship matches with the Welsh outfit, but the points were shared in a 1-1 draw earlier this season.
Cardiff's form under Mick McCarthy has been excellent, winning six and drawing two of their eight matches since the 62-year-old's arrival towards the end of January after Neil Harris was relieved of his duties.
The Bluebirds, as mentioned, are currently sixth in the table, level on points with seventh-placed Bournemouth and a point behind fifth-placed Reading, all on the same number of matches.
There is still a lot of football to be played between now and the end of the season but another win on Saturday would only fuel suggestions that they are capable of earning promotion back to the Premier League.
Only Norwich City (32) have picked up more points away from home in the Championship than Cardiff (28) this term, while they have only conceded 15 goals in their 16 league fixtures on the road.
Middlesbrough Championship form: DLLWWL
Cardiff City Championship form: WWWWWW
Cardiff will again be without the services of Joe Ralls, Isaac Vassell, Jordi Osei-Tutu, Sol Bamba and Lee Tomlin for this weekend's contest, but the Welsh side did not pick up any fresh issues against Bournemouth.
Middlesbrough possible starting lineup:
Bettinelli; Dijksteel, Fry, McNair; Mendez-Laing, Howson, Morsy, Bola; Watmore, Kebano, Akpom
Cardiff City possible starting lineup:
Phillips; Morrison, Flint, Nelson; Ng, Vaulks, Pack, Bennett; Murphy, Wilson, Moore
We say: Middlesbrough 1-1 Cardiff City
Boro will be desperate to bounce back from the disappointment of the defeat to Bristol City, and we can see Warnock's side stopping Cardiff's winning run. There are only three points between these two sides in the Championship table, and we are expecting a well-matched contest this weekend.