Team News: Middlesbrough v Bolton Wanderers

  • December 26, 2017 | By Chris Mann
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Bolton will look to avoid an unwanted statistic on Boxing Day when they make the journey to the Riverside Stadium to face managerless Middlesbrough.

Since winning at Cardiff City in April 2015, Wanderers have gone 36 Championship games without securing maximum points on the road and failure to do so in Teesside will ensure that run extends to 1,000 days going into their weekend fixture at Sheffield United.

Preparations have been disrupted by Boro's decision to axe Garry Monk as manager, despite a 2-1 victory at Sheffield Wednesday last time out, and although speculation suggests Tony Pulis could be headed for the North West, Wanderers look set to come up against a caretaker regime.

The Trotters have lost each of their last five encounters against Boro, as well as their last four to the Riverside, and will be looking for a change in fortune as they look to build on taking maximum points against Cardiff City on Saturday.

Manager Phil Parkinson will assess the fitness of his players ahead of kick-off, but could be tempted to field an unchanged side.

Andrew Taylor and Mark Little returned from injury to fill the two full-back roles against the Bluebirds and are likely to continue, with the former set to tackle his former club, while Sammy Ameobi is another in contention to face his one-time loan club, despite suffering a slight knock last time out.

Like Taylor, David Wheater is a product of the Boro youth system and seems certain to start, with Mark Beevers completing the backline in front of ex-Sunderland goalkeeper Ben Alnwick.

Jake Turner was a surprise inclusion on the substitutes' bench last time out, suggesting an injury has been suffered by Mark Howard, but no mention of any such problem has been reported.

Darren Pratley appears to have overcome a knee complaint and should start alongside Karl Henry in midfield, while the fitness of Adam Le Fondre will be monitored, with Gary Madine still the favoured option in attack.

Bolton Wanderers: from: Alnwick, Howard, Turner, Little, A Taylor, Dervite, Beevers, Robinson, Osede, Darby, Wheater, Burke, Vela, Karacan, Ameobi, Buckley, Noone, Cullen, Pratley, Morais, Henry, King, Le Fondre, Madine, Wilbraham, Armstrong, Hall

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
7 Plymouth Argyle 46 80
8 Oxford United 46 76
9 Bolton Wanderers 46 73
10 Portsmouth 46 73
11 Ipswich Town 46 70
View Full Standings >>


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32.58% Oladapo Afolayan
30.96% Gethin Jones
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5.51% Declan John
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3.08% MJ Williams
1.78% Joel Dixon
0.32% George Johnston