A win for Middlesbrough on Tuesday would draw them level on points with Bournemouth in sixth before the Cherries face a crucial clash against seventh place Cardiff City 24 hours later; Boro themselves then play the Bluebirds at the weekend.
Neil Warnock‘s side made a statement of intent on Saturday when they won 2-0 away from home at fifth-placed Reading, with both goals coming in the space of seven first-half minutes from Ashley Fletcher and Marc Bola.
Warnock said afterwards that “it was as good a performance against a good side since I have been here”, and the result marked a second victory in a row for Boro after they had been winless in their previous five.
While the win brought just their second clean sheet in 12 league matches, only five Championship clubs have conceded fewer goals than the Teeside outfit this season.
Middlesbrough’s 2-1 victory over Huddersfield Town in their last home game ended a run of four successive defeats at the Riverside.
George Saville‘s goal earned Boro a 1-0 win against Bristol City in this season’s reverse fixture at Ashton Gate – only the third time that they had triumphed over the Robins in their last 12 attempts.