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PL Cup preview: Middlesbrough Under-23s v Rovers Under-23s

A look ahead to tonight's Premier League Cup group stage encounter against the Boro

7 February 2020

Billy Barr is expected to name a young side with progress already secured from the group stages no matter what happens against Middlesbrough Under-23s tonight.

Rovers will also guarantee their spot at the top of Group G should they not suffer defeat to Boro tonight, with the hosts knowing that a win will ensure they progress into the group stages.

Boro have won their last two games in the competition to leapfrog Burnley into second place in the standings, five points ahead of the third-placed Clarets.

Barr’s side are currently top of Group G with maximum points following victories over Crystal Palace (3-1 away) (2-0 at home), Boro (3-1 at home) and Burnley (2-1 at home) in their opening three group games, ahead of the reverse round of fixtures.

A host of Under-18s are likely to be in the squad, with Isaac Whitehall and Sam Burns the obvious contenders to play a part at Bishop Auckland's Heritage Park.

Rovers came from a goal down to beat Boro in the reverse fixture back in November, with second half strikes from Dan Butterworth, Joe Rankin-Costello and Jack Vale earning the win against a resolute side who took an early lead through Joseph Gibson.

Whilst the first half wasn't the most flowing display, the second half improvement and three goals in the final 15 minutes ensured that it was a satisfying night's work for the Rovers youngsters.

This time around, Tyler Magloire could earn another start as he gets back to full fitness, whilst there could also be a first Under-23s outing for new arrival D'Margio Wright-Phillips, who signed on a youth loan from Manchester City on deadline day.

Stefan Mols is also expected to be party of the travelling contingent having not featured in the 2-0 home win over Crystal Palace in the competition last time out.

The teams that finish in the top two places in each of the eight groups will advance to the knockout phase.

Kick-off in the north-east is at 7pm.


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