Middlesbrough have the chance to break into the automatic promotion spots when they host Queens Park Rangers on Wednesday evening, but how is the squad shaping up for the game?
Neil Warnock’s men were solid but unconvincing in their 2-1 win over Bristol City last time out, and while 14 of the 24 Championship clubs were in action on Tuesday evening, Boro have had an extra day to rest and prepare for their third fixture of the domestic calendar.
The 72-year-old confirmed that Duncan Watmore and Marcus Tavernier will miss the Rangers affair with muscle strains however he is hopeful they will return before the end of the month, TeessideLive confirmed on Monday.
The article also stated that Chuba Akpom is available for selection as his self isolation period has concluded, however he does not seem to be in Warnock’s plans and may be moved on before the end of the month.
Summer signing Martin Payero is expected to take up a spot on the bench once again, with Warnock affording the Argentinian time to adapt to the style and pace of English football, rather than throwing him in at the deep end.
Rangers are four places above Boro on nothing but goal difference in the embryonic table, Warnock will be intent on breaking into the top six early in the season to send a message to the rest of the league that his side mean business this season.
Uche Ikpeazu will lead the line with Matt Crooks making attacking runs from midfield, such that worked a treat in the Bristol City triumph.