Downing In, Traore Out – Strongest 4-2-3-1 Middlesbrough Line-up To Face Derby County

Predicted Middlesbrough Line-up To Face Derby County In EFL Championship

Boro got their promotion effort back on track with a comfortable 2-0 win against Birmingham City in midweek, and now face a tougher Midlands test in the form of visitors Derby County.

Jonny Howson picked up his fifth booking of the season against the Blues and will miss out here, with Adam Forshaw likely to come in, to partner Grant Leadbitter in midfield. Marvin Johnson may continue out on the left with Downing on the other side. Adama Traore came off the bench in midweek and will be pushing for a start too.

Garry Monk is likely to stick with his usual 4-2-3-1 formation for this one, using the following personnel:

Formation: 4-2-3-1

Manager: Garry Monk

GK – Darren Randolph

Another clean sheet last time and the Republic of Ireland ‘keeper will be hoping for another shutout at the Riverside this time around.

RB – Cyrus Christie

Christie gets the chance here to show the Rams what they are missing, in a first home match against his old club.

Daniel Ayala

CB – Daniel Ayala

As we’ve written before, he has formed a rock solid partnership with Ben Gibson and hopefully, that will carry on here.

CB – Ben Gibson

The England hopeful carries on at centre-back, hoping to get the attention of Gareth Southgate or at the very least a Premier League club ahead of January.

LB – Fabio

I can’t help feeling there are more natural left-backs out there, but he has been doing this for a long time now and brings experience to the side.

CM – Adam Forshaw

A fine passer of the ball and an able deputy for the suspended Jonny Howson.

Grant Leadbitter

CM – Grant Leadbitter

Touted to leave in the summer, Leadbitter has fought off all comers to retain his place in this midfield and is going along nicely.

RW – Stewart Downing

Adama Traore is available but it’s likely Monk will stick with the experience of Downing before unleashing the youngster from the bench.

CAM – Martin Braithwaite

Was withdrawn during the midweek game, but is likely to carry on here as Monk has kept him as fresh as possible.  Vital in supporting the No.9 in this formation.

Britt Assombalonga (left)

LW – Marvin Johnson

With young Marcus Tavernier breathing down his neck, Johnson will need another solid display on the left.

ST – Britt Assombalonga

Likely to get a hostile response from the Derby fans for his association with Nottingham Forest. The striker scored both goals against Birmingham and will look to add to his tally here.