M'boro v Blackpool preview

Team news ahead of Middlesbrough's Championship match with Blackpool at The Riverside on Saturday.

Last Updated: 18/11/11 at 14:27

Williams: Knee injury

Williams: Knee injury

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Middlesbrough boss Tony Mowbray has been boosted by Rhys Williams' return to training.

The versatile 23-year-old was substituted with a knee problem during Australia's shock 1-0 World Cup qualifier defeat by Oman in Muscat on Friday, but was able to train with his team-mates on Thursday morning.

Midfielder Nicky Bailey was also able to take part after nursing a calf muscle injury, and both have a chance of being involved in Saturday's game at the Riverside Stadium, as does defender Seb Hines following an ankle problem.

However, the news on Justin Hoyte and Kevin Thomson is not so positive.

Full-back Hoyte tweaked a hamstring during the 3-1 victory at Doncaster on November 1 and limped off after just 21 minutes, while midfielder Thomson has been out of action since the 2-0 defeat at Nottingham Forest on October 18, also with a hamstring problem, and neither are expected to be fit.

Kevin Phillips has given Blackpool manager Ian Holloway a selection headache.

Phillips came off the bench to score a stunning winner in the 1-0 success over Millwall, but fellow strikers Lomana LuaLua and Jonjo Shelvey were the instigators of the 5-0 demolition of Leeds the week before.

Elliot Grandin is another attacking option for Holloway, but the Frenchman is not yet match-fit following his recovery from a foot injury, but Matty Phillips and Billy Clarke are both available after returning form loan spells at Sheffield United.

Goalkeeper Mark Halstead has joined Stockport on a three-month loan, while Gary Taylor-Fletcher remains sidelined with a pelvis problem.

Aside from Taylor-Fletcher and Grandin, Holloway's side have no injury concerns as they look to make it three wins on the bounce and consolidate their place in the Championship play-off places.

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Championship Fixtures

Friday, 03 October 2014
19:45
Blackpool v Cardiff
Saturday, 04 October 2014
12:15
Leeds v Sheff Wed  
15:00
Blackburn v Huddersfld  
Bolton v Bournemth  
Brentford v Reading  
Charlton v Birmingham  
Derby v Millwall  
M'boro v Fulham  
Norwich v Rotherham  
Watford v Brighton  

Sky Bet Championship

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Norwich 10 11 20
2 N Forest 10 10 20
3 Watford 10 8 20
4 Derby 10 9 19
5 Ipswich 10 6 18
6 Charlton 10 4 18
7 Wolves 10 3 18
8 M'boro 10 6 17
9 Sheff Wed 10 3 16
10 Reading 10 0 15
11 Blackburn 10 -2 14
12 Leeds 10 -2 14
13 Brentford 10 -3 14
14 Cardiff 10 0 13
15 Bournemth 10 1 12
16 Millwall 10 -3 11
17 Rotherham 10 -4 11
18 Huddersfld 10 -8 11
19 Brighton 10 -2 10
20 Birmingham 10 -6 10
21 Wigan 10 -2 9
22 Fulham 10 -8 7
23 Bolton 10 -12 5
24 Blackpool 10 -9 3

Updated Thu, 02 Oct 2014

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