Mark Warburton will be looking to witness a reaction from his Queens Park Rangers side this afternoon as they head to the north-east for another Championship outing.
The Rs endured a late second-half collapse against Rotherham United last time out and even though there is little to play for at this stage of the season, a win over Middlesbrough will bring much joy back in west London.
But what sort of lineup could we see from the 58-year-old at the Riverside Stadium today? Here’s our predicted XI as well as the latest team and injury news from the Superhoops camp…
There could be as many as four changes and a welcome sight in defence following fresh injury updates this week.
According to Warburton, there is a chance that Jordy de Wijs is able to feature despite suffering a broken nose up at Rotherham. “Hopefully he’ll be okay this morning and okay to travel,” the QPR boss revealed to West London Sport.
Whilst skipper Geoff Cameron is expected to be unavailable once again. Therefore, the backline should remain unchanged, meaning it will be Seng Dieng between the sticks, with de Wijs in between Yoann Barbet and Rob Dickie.
Osman Kakay has impressed at right wing-back, delivering an assist for Lyndon Dykes’ opener on Tuesday night, so he should keep Todd Kane out the side but Warburton should be able to welcome back Lee Wallace after a rest in midweek.
He’ll replace Niko Hamalainen on the left after a disastrous showing. The 24-year-old will be lucky to feature again this season after that performance.
In midfield, we could finally see Dominic Ball get a rare start with Stefan Johansen expected to remain as a key cog in that engine room.
There should also be returns for Chris Willock and Ilias Chair, who were both surprisingly dropped for the trip to Yorkshire – their creative presence in attacking midfield was sorely missed and Warburton will think twice before doing that again.
It means young duo George Thomas, 24 and Charlie Kelman, 19, will drop to the bench.
Dykes, who is in red-hot form with 12 goals for the season, will lead the line once more in the absence of the suspended Charlie Austin.