After a disappointing 0-0 draw last weekend against 19th-placed Wigan, Middlesbrough take on Brentford at the Riverside stadium as the race for playoffs intensifies.
Tony Pulis’ side are just two points off fourth-placed West Brom and will look to close the gap with a win against Brentford on Saturday.
Left-backs George Friend and Sam McQueen are both unlikely to feature due to hamstring and knee injuries respectively.
Aden Flint is being assessed everyday but is not expected to be back for the game against Brentford on Saturday.
The 31-year-old has kept an incredible 16 clean sheets so far this season and has conceded just 24 goals. He is expected to start again at the weekend.
The Boro youth product has been impressive this season and has played 26 times so far in the Championship. He has also assisted 4 goals and should start on Saturday.
Naturally a right back, Shotton has been preferred in central defence by Tony Pulis in the last three games. He is expected to start there on Saturday.
The Spaniard has helped keep two clean sheets in his last two games since his return from suspension. He has been a mainstay in Pulis’ side, having played 26 games so far.
The 30-year-old has played every game this season so far but has been moved out to the right after starting the season in attacking midfield.
The January recruit has played every single game since making his debut against West Brom. He is expected to start in the heart of the midfield.
On loan from Everton, Besic has played 27 games so far this season and has formed a formidable partnership with Mikel in the midfield. He has scored twice and assisted thrice so far and will be important in that number 8 role against Brentford.
The 25-year-old is another central midfielder who has been pushed out wide by Tony Pulis. With injuries to both of Boro’s left-backs, Saville will have to put in a fine shift at the Riverside Stadium on Saturday.
The former Yeovil midfielder has been given a free role by Pulis and his creativity will be vital for the two strikers.
The 23-year-old has started each of Boro’s last three games and has found the net once. He is expected to start again.
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The former Nottingham Forest striker has been in top form this campaign and is Boro’s top-scorer this season with 10 goals. He will be looking to add to that tally against Brentford.
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