Middlesbrough v Rotherham
Live on Sky Sports
Boro's Horror Midweek
After 2 wins in 3, Boro hosted Cardiff on Tuesday as heavy favourites. That they were 0-3 down at half time - and lost the match - was difficult to compute.
9 points from 9 games has them in 21st place. The league position itself certainly doesn't reflect the general balance of play in their games - but that doesn't matter much to fans that expected more.
Poor finishing, and sloppy defensive mistakes, combined to make this a very underwhelming start to a season that began with expectation.
Wilder said: "There was nervousness and edginess to us and I think that spread around the stadium - it was expected and deserved." The atmosphere is on a knife edge. Anything other than a win here and the discontent will be significant.
Travelling to Middlesbrough is a Rotherham side feeling good about themselves. Their start to the season has been excellent, only four teams have picked up more points per game.
They're running very hot in front of goal, fuelled by the most set piece goals in the league and 7 goals from just 49 open play shots.
One caveat is where their points have been accrued: 11 in 5 home games, 2 in 3 away games. In defeat to Sunderland and draws at Preston and QPR, the Millers have looked much weaker, and seem to struggle to impose their style on their opposition on their travels.
Trust In Boro - One Last Time?
On a purely footballing level, Middlesbrough should dominate territory in this game. The big question mark is around psychology and emotion.
We can be sure that Rotherham will be focused, determined and look to use the tetchy atmosphere to their benefit.
There's a chance that Boro could be frantic, could try too hard, could lack composure or make mistakes due to the pressure they are under.
Despite the waves of discontent, we're siding with Wilder's side. Aside from Tuesday's first half, they have been strong at home all season.
They have had 24 hours more to recover and prepare for this game. They have a stronger squad than Rotherham. These factors should play an important role, particularly in the second half.
Middlesbrough will carve out opportunities - they have done so consistently even during this poor run.
If they can take just one chance, the relief will be palpable and powerful. Often, that brings confidence and composure... and further goals.
Rotherham's poor performances on the road this season add further confidence to the belief that this should be a case of Middlesbrough ending a tough week with a calming and resounding win.
Back Middlesbrough -1 on the handicap at 2.8.
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