M’boro v Blackpool preview

Date published: Monday 24th August 2015 2:00

M'boro v Blackpool preview

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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