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Preview: Middlesbrough v Rovers

A look ahead to our trip to the Riverside to take on the Teessiders in game number 30 of the Championship season

30 January 2020

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Rovers take on Middlesbrough in game number 30 of our Sky Bet Championship 2019-20 campaign on Saturday afternoon.

Following back-to-back wins at Sheffield Wednesday and at home to Queens Park Rangers on Tuesday evening, Rovers head to Teesside full of confidence.

Boro come into the game without a win in their last five outings in all competitions, with their last two victories eye-catching triumphs over West Bromwich Albion and Preston North End, both away from home.

Last season's meeting in Teesside saw the teams play out an even encounter that ended 1-1.

Charlie Mulgrew's superb free kick put Rovers in front midway through the first half after Mo Besic was shown a straight red card for hauling down Bradley Dack.

But Britt Assombalonga's thumping long range strike secured an equaliser for the hosts, and that was how things finished on a chilly day in the north-east.

This weekend's hosts could include ex-Rovers favourite Rudy Gestede in their squad, who has suffered an injury-hit three years at the Riverside, but is now back fit and available for Jonathan Woodgate's side.

Woodgate will be armed with his three January captures in the form of Lukas Nmecha, Patrick Roberts and Dejan Stojanovic.

The only absentees for Rovers are Dack, who will miss the remainder of the campaign with a knee injury, and Joe Rothwell, who picked up a hamstring strain in Tuesday night's win over QPR.

That means that there will be a definite alteration to the starting XI, with Elliott Bennett the likely replacement for Rothwell on the wing.

Ryan Nyambe will earn his 100th league appearance for Rovers if selected, whilst another goal for Adam Armstrong will make it 50 league strikes for the frontman in his career.

Stewart Downing appeared 404 times for Boro across two spells, and he's set to make a first outing at the Riverside as an opposition player should he be selected for the contest.

Kick-off on Saturday afternoon is at 3pm, and you can track all the action via iFollow Rovers and our social media platforms.

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