Middlesbrough v Hull preview

Team news for Saturday's Championship clash between Middlesbrough and Hull City at the Riverside.

Last Updated: 26/11/10 at 10:31

O'Neil: Sore knee

O'Neil: Sore knee

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Middlesbrough skipper Gary O'Neil is a doubt for the visit of the Tigers.

The 27-year-old midfielder is struggling with a sore knee as Tony Mowbray's men attempt to bounce back from successive defeats by Swansea and Millwall.

However, keeper Danny Coyne returns to contention after recovering from a torn calf muscle, although he faces a fight to oust youngster Jason Steele.

Midfielder Kevin Thomson is still suffering from the after-effects of a broken leg while central defender Stephen McManus is a long-term absentee with ankle ligament damage.

Jonathan Franks (herniated disc), Willo Flood (knee), Rhys Williams (pelvis) and Matt Kilgallon (back) remain on the sidelines.

Jay Simpson and Paul McShane are expected to return to Hull's squad for the clash on Teesside.

Striker Simpson has overcome a chest infection that forced him to miss last weekend's win over Ipswich, while defender McShane could be available again after a four-game absence due to a hamstring injury.

Manager Nigel Pearson is hoping Daniel Ayala, on loan from Liverpool, can prove his fitness in time following a hamstring strain, but Hull are still without long-term absentees Caleb Folan, Craig Fagan and Jimmy Bullard.

The Tigers secured back-to-back league wins for the first time this season after successes against Preston and Ipswich and have taken seven points from a possible nine in their bid to climb away from the bottom three.

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