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Team news: Middlesbrough v Rovers

Tony Mowbray names an unchanged starting XI for today's clash against his old side at the Riverside Stadium

8 December 2018

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Tony Mowbray has named an unchanged starting XI for today's clash against his old side Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium.

That means Paul Downing starts back-to-back games for the first time this season following his excellent performance against Sheffield Wednesday last weekend.

Darragh Lenihan is available if needed from the bench, as is fellow defender Amari'i Bell, who has recovered from a hamstring twinge that kept him out of the squad against the Owls last week.

There is something of a Middlesbrough reunion in the Rovers squad, with Mowbray being a former player and manager of the Teessiders, whilst Richie Smallwood, Danny Graham and Jayson Leutwiler are all former Boro employees.

The hosts, meanwhile, make three changes to their starting side to the one that was comfortably beaten against Aston Villa this time last week.

Dael Fry misses out through injury, whilst Danny Batth and Marcus Tavernier drop to the bench.

Coming into the XI are Ryan Shotton, Daniel Ayala and Ashley Fletcher, who all make a return to Tony Pulis' lineup.

Two ex-Rovers in the form of Rudy Gestede and Harry Chapman are both out of the squad for today's game.

Kick-off at the Riverside Stadium is at 3pm, and if you can't make it, you can of course follow all the action via iFollow Rovers or across our social media channels.

Middlesbrough: Randolph, Friend (c), Ayala, Shotton, Clayton, Hugill, Howson, Fletcher, Downing, Flint, Besic.

Substitutes: Lonergan, Batth, Assombalonga, McNair, Saville, Wing, Tavernier.

Rovers: Raya, Nyambe, Downing, Mulgrew (c), Williams, Smallwood, Evans, Reed, Dack, Conway, Graham.

Substitutes: Leutwiler, Armstrong, Rothwell, Bell, Brereton, Lenihan, Palmer.

Referee: Simon Hooper.

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