Championship Preview: Middlesbrough out to continue run, Bournemouth seek response
Middlesbrough will hope to carry their FA Cup momentum into Saturday's crunch Championship clash at the fifth-placed Brentford.
Aitor Karanka's men, who sit third, played one of the main roles in a fourth round of FA Cup shocks last week.
Middlesbrough won 2-0 at Premier League champions Manchester City, with second-half goals from Patrick Bamford and Kike sealing their place in the last 16.
Another tricky trip awaits them - this time at Arsenal - but the North-East club are in the mood to beat anyone.
Their momentum has not come from just the Cup, with the club having lost just one of their last 16 matches in all competitions.
That has seen them rise up the Championship table, just a point behind leaders Bournemouth and with a spot in the top two potentially on the line on Saturday, striker Bamford is confident his side can win again.
"I think we've shown that if we get up there to the Premier League, we're a match for anyone," he told Middlesbrough's official website. "First Liverpool [in the League Cup], we lost on penalties…and then again on Saturday against Man City.
"It takes a lot of concentration but when we stick to our game plan, we can do well."
Middlesbrough could give new signing Adam Forshaw, who joined from Wigan Athletic on Wednesday, a debut.
Brentford are in good form themselves, with three successive wins keeping them firmly in the hunt for an automatic promotion spot.
Mark Warburton's side are just one point behind Middlesbrough and have won seven of their last nine home fixtures in the Championship.
Leaders Bournemouth host Watford on Friday in another clash that can help shape the promotion race.
Bournemouth, goal difference ahead of Derby County, lost 1-0 at Leeds United in their last league fixture.
They will hope for an improved performance against a Watford side who scored seven times in the second half in their thrashing of Blackpool last week.
Watford are sixth after two successive wins.
Just three points below Watford in seventh are Wolves, who are unbeaten in seven in the Championship - with five of them being wins.
Kenny Jackett's side go to the Macron Stadium to face Bolton Wanderers on Saturday. Bolton added to their strike power with the loan signing of Adam Le Fondre, from Cardiff City, earlier this week.
Neil Redfearn will look to build on Leeds' surprise win against the table-toppers when they visit Huddersfield Town in a Yorkshire derby.
The last five meetings between the two sides have seen 23 goals scored, with new signings Sol Bamba and Granddi Ngoyi set to be in the mix for United.
Brighton and Hove Albion have won three of their last four matches in the league as they move away from the relegation zone under new boss Chris Hughton.
They will be confident of extending that run against rock-bottom Blackpool, who are already 12 points adrift of safety.
Wigan Athletic and Millwall, who are also in the relegation zone, face Ipswich Town and Nottingham Forest respectively.
Charlton Athletic and Rotherham United are also at the wrong end of the table, and meet at The Valley.
Also on Saturday, Derby County visit Cardiff City and Blackburn Rovers battle Fulham.
Birmingham City host Norwich City and Sheffield Wednesday go to Reading in other matches.