Leeds v Middlesbrough preview

Team news for Saturday's Championship clash between Leeds and Middlesbrough at Elland Road (kick-off 1pm).

Last Updated: 31/12/10 at 13:30

Parker: Could feature for Whites

Parker: Could feature for Whites

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Leeds defender Ben Parker is in contention for his first appearance in over eight months in the New Year's Day clash.

Left-back George McCartney has returned to Sunderland following the expiry of his loan spell and Parker, sidelined due to a series of injuries that restricted him to only four appearances last season, could make a long-awaited return to the side.

Summer signing Fede Bessone and Andrew Hughes provide Simon Grayson with further options.

Midfielder Neil Kilkenny is available to make his final appearance before joining up with the Australia squad ahead of the Asian Cup in Qatar.

Grayson opted for Ross McCormack in place of Kilkenny against Portsmouth, while the manager must decide whether to recall striker Luciano Becchio in place of Billy Paynter, who made his first start for the club in Tuesday's home draw.

Middlesbrough boss Tony Mowbray will give Barry Robson until the last minute to prove he is fit to feature.

The Scotland midfielder missed the 3-1 victory at Preston on Tuesday through illness and is rated at 50-50 to return at Elland Road.

Mowbray otherwise has no fresh injury concerns as his side attempts to build upon a win which lifted them a point clear of the drop zone.

Jonathan Franks (herniated disc) is closing in on a return after getting a brief appearance for the reserves under his belt but Stephen McManus (ankle ligaments), Willo Flood (knee), Rhys Williams (pelvis) and Matt Kilgallon (back) remain on the sidelines.

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