Middlesbrough v Watford preview

Date published: Monday 24th August 2015 1:54

Middlesbrough v Watford preview

Middlesbrough boss Tony Mowbray faces the task of finding a new strike-partner for Scott McDonald after losing Leroy Lita to injury.
The former Reading man could miss the rest of the season with a hamstring tear and that means Mowbray could turn to Marvin Emnes or Merouane Zemmama with Kris Boyd and Lee Miller out on loan.
He will, however, have experienced defender Stephen McManus, who was an unused substitute at Portsmouth last weekend, available after playing 75 minutes for the reserves in midweek on his return from an ankle injury.
Full-back Joe Bennett will play once again with a lightweight cast protecting a chipped bone in his wrist but Boro still have a lengthy casualty list.
Jason Steele (torn stomach muscle), Danny Coyne (hernia surgery), Julio Arca (knee and toe), Andrew Davies, Matthew Bates and Justin Hoyte (all hamstring), Willo Flood (thigh), Kevin Thomson (hairline leg fracture) and Jonathan Franks and Luke Williams (both ankle) remain on the sidelines.
Watford will hand a fitness test to Lloyd Doyley ahead of the game after he picked up a knock to his knee during the emphatic midweek win at Ipswich.
Doyley’s fellow full-back Lee Hodson missed that win as he nurses a badly bruised ankle sustained in the win over Sheffield United last weekend but he could return to the side if required.
On-loan Manchester United midfielder Danny Drinkwater is still back receiving treatment at his parent club but is due back at Vicarage Road next week.
Midfielder Stephen McGinn is a long-term absentee with a serious knee injury as the Hornets look for three more points.

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