Middlesbrough v Cardiff preview

Team news for Saturday's Championship clash between Middlesbrough and Cardiff at the Riverside Stadium.

Last Updated: 10/12/10 at 11:37

Robson: Expected to return for Boro

Robson: Expected to return for Boro

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Middlesbrough boss Tony Mowbray will be without key defender David Wheater for the game after he picked up his fifth booking of the season in last Saturday's 1-0 defeat at Coventry.

However, midfielder Barry Robson is expected to return after missing the game at the Ricoh Arena because of illness.

Striker Leroy Lita is a doubt with a similar virus, but Kevin Thomson could be available once again after another lay-off with soreness in the leg he broke earlier this season.

Long-term absentee Jonathan Franks (herniated disc) is stepping up his rehabilitation, but Stephen McManus (ankle ligaments), Willo Flood (knee), Rhys Williams (pelvis) and Matt Kilgallon (back) remain on the sidelines.

Cardiff will be without key striker Jay Bothroyd for the trip to Teesside.

Bothroyd, who has netted 15 times in all competitions this term but is yet to find the target since representing England at Wembley last month, sustained a hamstring injury after just eight minutes of last weekend's disappointing 1-1 home draw with Preston.

However, despite his absence at the Riverside, Bothroyd is likely to return in time for next Saturday's visit of Burnley.

The versatile Darcy Blake was also withdrawn during the first half against North End feeling unwell while winger Jason Koumas missed out altogether with a toe problem, but both should be okay to face Boro.

Manager Dave Jones has seen "two or three" unnamed players struggle with illness this week and it remains to be seen whether they will be in contention, although it is likely they will have shaken off the virus in time.

Tom Heaton, Paul Quinn (both ligament damage) and Chris Riggott (match fitness) remain on the sidelines.

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