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Championship | Gameweek 26
Jan 1, 2024 at 3pm UK
Riverside Stadium

1 - 3

Coburn (31')
Greenwood (67'), Rogers (90+1')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Sakamoto (34', 69'), Wright (58')
Eccles (65'), Wright (82')

Preview: Middlesbrough vs. Coventry City - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Middlesbrough vs. Coventry City - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Monday's Championship clash between Middlesbrough and Coventry City, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

In a repeat of last season's playoff semi-final, Middlesbrough will welcome Coventry City to the Riverside Stadium on New Year's Day, with both sides chasing down the top six.

Boro returned to winning ways with a narrow success at strugglers Huddersfield Town on Friday, while the Sky Blues were held at home to managerless Swansea City on the same day.

Match preview

Middlesbrough ended 2023 with a hard-fought victory on Friday night at the John Smith's Stadium against relegation-threatened Huddersfield, with second-half goals from Josh Coburn and Jonny Howson - either side of a Michal Helik equaliser - securing a positive departure from the calendar year for Michael Carrick's men.

Having won three of their last four matches in the Championship, Boro have clawed themselves to within striking distance of the top-six positions as the campaign heads into 2024, with sixth-placed Sunderland just three points better off than the Teesside club ahead of Monday's fixtures.

Whilst the fixture schedule will begin to space out for most clubs in the second tier, Middlesbrough face a busy and crucial January, with four league matches pencilled in, as well as an FA Cup tie with Unai Emery's Aston Villa followed by a two-legged affair against Chelsea in the semi-finals of the EFL Cup.

Following the departure of last season's leading marksman Chuba Akpom to Dutch giants Ajax in the summer transfer window, Carrick's side have had to share the goalscoring responsibility around the team this campaign, but summer arrival Emmanuel Latte Lath and Sam Greenwood lead the way with five strikes each.

Boro fans will have painful memories of the last time Coventry made the trip up to the Riverside Stadium, with now-Sheffield United midfielder Gustavo Hamer netting a 57th-minute winner for the Sky Blues, who were consequently able to book their place in June's playoff final against Luton Town.

Coventry City were unable to make it three-straight wins in the Championship on Friday night as they were frustratingly held to a 2-2 draw against a Swansea side under the interim stewardship of Alan Sheehan, but the Sky Blues' unbeaten run did extend to an impressive six matches.

Mark Robins's side fell behind in the contest after just seven minutes when Liam Walsh netted for the managerless Swans, and it looked as if strikes either side of half time from Haji Wright and Ellis Simms were going to be enough for maximum points, but substitute Josh Cullen stepped up and scored an added-time equaliser for the visitors.

Due to Hull City's dramatic 3-2 win over Blackburn Rovers on Friday night, Coventry are now five points behind the top-six position as the campaign heads into 2024, with the East Midlanders collecting a respectable tally of 34 points from their opening 25 contests in the division.

Although dropping to the bench for the visit of Swansea, Callum O'Hare has been a real game changer for the Sky Blues since returning for a long-term injury in October, with the former Aston Villa youngster netting a brace in the win over Birmingham City, while also finding the net in the 3-0 victory at Sunderland on December 2023.

Coventry have been mightily impressive on their travels in recent times - putting three past Michael Beale's Black Cats and forcing Leeds United to a point at Elland Road - but the Sky Blues' only defeat in the last 10 Championship matches did come away from the CBS Arena, losing 2-1 at this season's surprise package Ipswich Town.

Middlesbrough Championship form:

Middlesbrough form (all competitions):

Coventry City Championship form:

Team News

With Middlesbrough's Samuel Silvera and Riley McGree both off to international duties for Australia, Friday night's goalscorer Coburn should start in attack alongside the likes of Greenwood and Isaiah Jones.

Dan Barlaser produced an efficient display at the John Smith's Stadium and should keep his spot alongside Howson in the engine room, but the return of the injured Hayden Hackney is not far away.

Anfernee Dijksteel was replaced shortly after half time with a knock at Huddersfield, and it remains to be seen whether the right-back is fit to feature on Monday.

After being rested from the start on Friday night, Coventry are expected to bring Milan van Ewijk back into the starting XI, potentially at the expense of Joel Latibeaudiere.

The Sky Blues remain without the services of centre-back Liam Kitching after he received a red card following the full-time whistle against Sheffield Wednesday, meaning Luis Binks will continue to partner Bobby Thomas in defence.

Robins opted to rotate his attacking options in the week and could bring in fresh legs for the trip to Teesside, with goalscorer Simms, O'Hare and Yasin Ayari pushing for starts.

Middlesbrough possible starting lineup:
Glover; Van den Berg, Clarke, Fry, Bangura; Howson, Barlaser, Jones, Rogers, Greenwood, Coburn

Coventry City possible starting lineup:
Collins; Van Ewijk, Binks, Thomas, Bidwell; Sheaf, Latibeaudiere, O'Hare; Sakamoto, Wright; Simms

We say: Middlesbrough 1-1 Coventry City

Middlesbrough were arguably lucky to earn all three points at Huddersfield, although Boro do have the potential to dominate teams at the Riverside.

Coventry rested some of their key men from the start on Friday night and should be good enough to force a share of the spoils on Teesside.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting over 2.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 2.5:data

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