Tag Archives: George Saville

Cardiff City v Middlesbrough Championship preview

Neil Warnock returns to Cardiff for the first time since leaving the Welsh club. He’ll bring his Middlesbrough side to face the club he took to the Premier League in 2018. Warnock faced the Bluebirds at the end of last season with Cardiff winning 3-1 at the Riverside.

Middlesbrough are unbeaten in five matches since their opening day loss to Watford. Their last match saw them win away at Bristol City. Cardiff trail Boro by a point and will be looking for their first win at Cardiff City Stadium.

Cardiff have won the last four meetings between the sides. Although, history suggests that this game could go either way. Over the last 14 games the sides have managed seven wins apiece. This should be a close encounter as 10 of theses games have been decided by a single goal. With both managers setting their teams up to be hard to beat, this is unlikely to be an exception.

Team News

Neil Harris confirmed in his press conference that left back Greg Cunningham will be out for four to six weeks. Cunningham went off injured in last Saturday’s win at Preston.

On his other injured players, Harris said:

“The other three are edging closer. Jordi (Osei-Tutu) and Benno (Joe Bennett) have been on the grass today. We could have the possibility of one, both or neither available.

“Tommo (Lee Tomlin) is getting closer but not for tomorrow”.

Middlesbrough are meanwhile likely to be without Britt Assombalonga.

Speaking at his press conference, Warnock said:

“From yesterday I don’t think he’s got much of a chance but we’ll see this afternoon.

“Its just a nick on the adductor on the side of the groin and it just didn’t feel right”.

They are also still without last seasons top scorer, Ashley Fletcher who is ruled out until January with a hamstring injury.

The Managers Thoughts

Both managers spoke about the heavy schedule of upcoming fixtures. Championship games are coming thick and fast after the late start to this season.

Neil Warnock called the EFL to discuss the fixture scheduling. After the trip to Bristol City on Tuesday, they travel to Cardiff for this weekends game.

At his press conference on Monday, Warnock gave details of his call to the EFL, he said:

” It was just how it fell, they did look at it but there was nothing they could do about it”.

Warnock continued:

“We’ll be traveling back to Teeside after the Bristol game and then back to Cardiff on Friday.

“It means we can’t do much training for games. We’re traveling most of the time”.

Neil Harris also had this to say:

“We played on the Sunday against Preston and Bristol on a Friday. It becomes seven games in nineteen days for us. It is what it is but its a bit unfair and it’s wrong. We have to be creative to be as fresh as we can to get results”.

Key Players

For Cardiff, new signing Harry Wilson will be the creative key to unlock Middlesbrough’s defence. Wilson got his first goal for Cardiff in Wednesday draw with Bournemouth. He also hit the bar form a free kick and on another night could have taken the match ball home.

Harry Wilson scores his first Cardiff City Goal

Akpom Chuba has two goals this season and with Middlesbrough injuries they will be looking for him to add to his tally. George Saville, who scored the winner by pressing the Bristol City defence, is another player who could cause Cardiff problems.

Prediction: Cardiff 1-0 Middlesbrough

History suggests a close game, but Cardiff should have the edge creatively. Warnock will set his side out to be hard to beat and hit the Bluebirds on the break. So the Welsh side will have to find a way to unlock a determined team and I think they will do just that.

Championship midweek Review

Reading moved to the top of table after their win on Tuesday. The Royals with their fifth win of the season sit three points clear of Bristol City. City suffered a 1-0 defeat on Tuesday evening going down to Neil Warnock’s Middlesbrough.

Wednesday night saw Bournemouth earn at point at Cardiff, a home win for Watford and Brentford win at Sheffield Wednesday. Bournemouth remain unbeaten so far and are currently fourth. Watford’s win sees them in thrid spot three points behind leaders Reading.

Tuesday’s Action

Reading won at the Madejski thanks to a Lucas Joao goal on 64 minutes. A long ball from the back was taken down by Joao with his back to goal. Turning past two Wycombe defenders he then fired low into the net. Another clean sheet for Reading who have the best defence in the division. A sixth defeat for Wycombe, and having managed only one goal puts them in a difficult position in their first ever Championship Campaign.

Reading manager Veljko Paunovic said after the game:

“Defensively, we’re looking solid so far but we have to keep working to improve going forward and game by game, we’ll keep building and progressing”.

Wycombe boss Gareth Ainsworth, meanwhile, had this to say:

“I think six defeats on the spin is a first for me and it’s not a nice feeling. We need to get a win on the board and I’m sure that’s just around the corner”.

Bristol City dropped to second after gifting Middlesbrough the winning goal at Ashton Gate. Playing out from the back Bristol defender Luke Moore got caught and lost the ball to George Saville who then slotted it past the advancing keeper.

This was Bristol City’s first defeat of the season, manager Dean Holden told BBC Bristol:

“We were nowhere near the level we were at previously, we didn’t have a shot on target during the game and our performance levels were well below where we’ve been”.

Neil Warnock’s Boro are 11th and the veteran manager told BBC Tees:

“We were always dangerous going forward, we just couldn’t get the bit of luck and we get a goal like that, we worked on closing down and George Saville did exactly that and it’s nice when you get your reward”.

Millwall moved into a Play-off place courtesy of a 2-0 win at home to Luton. A Cranie own goal in first half stoppage time and a stunner from Connor Mahoney. Mahoney’s shot form the edge of the box going in off the post.

Derby’s poor start continued as they lost at Huddersfield by a goal from Juninho Bacuna. Its four games unbeaten for the Terriers. Derby have now lost five of their six games who are in the relegation places.

Swansea remain in the play-off places following their draw with Coventry City. Jordan Shipley after 19 minutes gave Coventry the lead. Andre Ayew equalised on 41 minutes.

Nottingham Forest and Rotherham United shared the points after a 1-1 draw at the City Ground. Daniel Barlaser with a penalty for Rotherham after 51 minutes was cancelled out by Sammi Ameobi goal on 79 minutes. Norwich made it two wins in a row beating Birmingham City by a goal to nil. Mario Vranic with the goal on 87 minutes.

Wednesday’s Action

Watford moved up to third after a 3-1 win over Blackburn. A lovely piece of passing was finished by Pedro to give Watford the lead after just 13 minutes. Ismaila Sarrs’ skilful control gave him the chance to shoot, his shot was saved but fell to Tom Cleverley who headed in an open goal. Rovers hit back before half time when Brereton brought the ball down with his chest and volleyed into the bottom right corner from outside the box.

Watford restored their two goal lead just after the restart. A cross from the Watford left was turn into the Blackburn net by Darragh Lenihan. Blackburn had a lifeline to salvage something from the game on 69 minutes when Lewis Holtby was brought down in the box. Alex Armstrong took the spot kick putting it to Ben Forsters right. The keeper went the right way and pushed the ball wide.

Bournemouth dropped below Watford after drawing at Cardiff. The Cherries lead at half time thanks to a Dominic Solanke goal on 35 minutes. Jack Stacey’s cross from the Cardiff left found Solanke free inside the six yard box to tap home. Cardiff had chances in the first half, Harry Wilson shot from the edge of the box zipped just past the post.

The Stacy-Solanke combo almost made it two nil if not for a stunning close range save from Alex Smithies. The game was wide open and Harry Wilson struck the bar from a free kick as Cardiff looked to level. Will Vaulks saw his header from Wilson’s corner tipped over by Asmir Begovic. Cardiff did get level on 62 minutes. Hoiletts’ low ball across the box missed Robert Glatzel but went to Harry Wilson who sent his side footed shot into the corner. Stanislas struck the bar from a free kick, as Bournemouth press for a winner. Cardiff held on to get their first home point of the season.

Two goals from Ivan Toney either side of a Callum Patterson goal gave Brentford all three points at Hillsborough. The win sees Brentford one point behind sixth placed Swansea. Wednesday still have a navigate points tally of -4 which leaves then 7 points adrift of Barnsley.

Barnsley twice lead at Stoke with goals from Elliot Simoes and dominik Frieser. Stoke leveled first though Tyrese Campbell and then Tom Smith. Stoke’s Nathan Collins saw red for an off the ball incident with Frieser.

Preston continued their good away form with a 2-0 win at Queens Park Rangers. Daniel Johnson with a first half penalty and Scot Sinclair with another in the second half. Preston top the table on away form so if they can fin some form at Deepdale they could really challenge towards the top this season.