Bristol City v Middlesbrough preview
Last Updated: 17/08/18 9:48am
Manager Lee Johnson will be without four central defenders as Bristol City welcome Middlesbrough to Ashton Gate.
Nathan Baker, Bailey Wright, Taylor Moore and Jens Hegeler are all missing through injury, with Moore the closest to a return. Johnson made eight changes for Tuesday night's 1-0 Carabao Cup defeat to League One side Plymouth, with only Jack Hunt, Lloyd Kelly and Callum O'Dowda retaining their places, and he is likely to restore his senior players for the Teessiders' visit.
Goalkeeper Frank Fielding and winger Hakeeb Adelakun remain on the long-term casualty list, while striker Famara Diedhiou is suspended.
Boro boss Tony Pulis is also expected to turn to his big guns once again after making 10 changes for Tuesday night's penalty shootout victory over League Two outfit Notts County. Only Dael Fry survived from Saturday's league victory over Birmingham and although he limped off with an ankle problem, he should be fit for the trip south.
Central defender Daniel Ayala made his first appearance of the season against the Magpies after recovering from injury and is likely to make the bench alongside striker Ashley Fletcher, who scored twice in midweek. The game could see Aden Flint line up against the side who sold him to Boro for £6million in June.
Bristol City have won their last three league matches against Middlesbrough at Ashton Gate, winning 2-1 thanks to goals from Joe Bryan and Jamie Paterson in 2017-18.
Middlesbrough's victory over Bristol City at the Riverside last season is their only victory in their last seven Championship games against them (D1 L5).
Bristol City are winless in six league matches (D4 L2), their worst run since a run of seven without a victory in March 2017.
Tony Pulis has won three of his four managerial visits to Ashton Gate in all competitions, losing the other in October 2007 as Stoke manager - current Robins boss Lee Johnson featured for Bristol City that day, while they were managed at the time by his father, Gary.
Bristol City striker Andreas Weimann has scored in each of his last two league games (two goals) - the Austrian has never scored in three consecutive league games in English football.
Only two of the last 18 shots on target Middlesbrough have faced in the Championship (including play-offs) have been scored - the first two they faced this season against Millwall.
Bristol City were ousted from the Carabao Cup by Plymouth in midweek, but Lee Johnson won't be too bothered by that result. Last season's run to the semi-final of that competition was fantastic for them, but now they can concentrate solely on their league campaign.
Middlesbrough nicked a draw on the opening day of the season but two solid wins since then have firmly established Tony Pulis' side as contenders. I fancy them to be too strong for the Robins.
David Prutton predicts: 0-2 (11/1 with Sky Bet)