EFL pundit delivers candid prediction ahead of Birmingham City’s clash with Middlesbrough

Birmingham's City first game of the Wayne Rooney era comes against his former Manchester United teammate Michael Carrick.
(Photo by John Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images)(Photo by John Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images)
(Photo by John Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images)

Wayne Rooney takes charge of his first Birmingham City match as they travel to the North East to face Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium in an EFL Championship clash.

A long outstanding friendship becomes a rivalry as Rooney takes on his former Manchester United teammate Michael Carrick. In his 19-year playing career, Carrick was the player that played the most alongside Rooney both for club and country, but now the two Red Devils icons will be plotting eachothers downfall.

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Carrick has already tasted the Old Trafford hotseat albeit on a caretaker basis, and has been in charge of Boro for nearly a year and guided them to the play-offs last year. Both enoyed a trophy laden spell under Sir Alex Ferguson, and are both hoping to replicate even a small bit of success he did in management.

The match is sure to have many eyes on it, and one person who has predicted the outcome is leading EFL pundit David Prutton. The 42-year-old is a leading presenter for Sky Sports' EFL coverage, and is well-placed to make an opinion on Championship football. He played for the likes of Nottingham Forest, Southampton, Leeds United and Sheffield Wednesday.

Here’s how he thinks Middlesbrough v Birmingham City will play out:

"It is so exciting having these types of figures of the game in the Championship," said Prutton in his Sky Sports column.

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"Middlesbrough are flying, too, and will be confident of making it five wins in a row.

"Rooney has a lot to prove because he is replacing a manager in John Eustace that had taken Birmingham into sixth. But can he maintain their start? I think he may start with a defeat."

After discussing the fixture, he delivered the prediction of a 2-1 win for Middlesbrough. If Prutton’s prediction of a defeat coupled with results going against them would see them drop out of the Championship’s top six.

Clubs tend to change managers when on a bad run of form and prior to Rooney’s arrival they had won their last two matches against Huddersfield Town and West Brom. It means that rather than a ‘new manager bounce’ Blues will be hoping that he can maintain their good run of form that came just before the international break.

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