BREAKING NEWS: BORO have completed the signing of Nigeria international defender Kenneth Omeruo on season loan

Friday, August 7, 2009

M'boro Season 09/10 - Preview

Middlesbrough v Sheffield United: Preview

Middlesbrough v Sheffield United

Trio doubts for Boro

Middlesbrough boss Gareth Southgate will have to assess a number of players before his side kick off the Championship campaign against Sheffield United.

Jermaine Aliadiere has suffered a bout of sickness while Gary O'Neil and Julio Arca remain doubtful with slight knocks.

Rhys Williams will be hoping to earn a starting berth after netting four goals in as many games during Boro's pre-season campaign.

Southgate told the club's official website: "It's important the players who don't make the final 18 remember they are good enough to make an impact in this division.

"We will have 46 league games and more in the cup competitions so they can play a big part over the course of the season.''

Sheffield United will be without suspended trio Jamie Ward, Paddy Kenny and Lee Hendrie.

But Kyel Reid, Ryan France and Andy Taylor could be in line for their debuts after signing from West Ham, Hull and Tranmere respectively while Glen Little will also be in the squad.

Fellow summer signings Lee Williamson (knock) and Ched Evans (hamstring) may have to wait for their first appearances and manager Kevin Blackwell must decide whether to hand new goalkeeper Mark Bunn his debut or opt for Ian Bennett in the absence of Kenny, who is suspended after failing a drugs test.

Striker Ward is sidelined due to a two-game ban hanging over from last season while midfielder Hendrie is suspended for four games following his dismissal in the play-off final defeat to Burnley.