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Chris Wilder reveals early team news ahead of Middlesbrough’s clash with Stoke City

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Although they were left somewhat limited for options on Wednesday night, Middlesbrough look to have decisions to be making regarding the line-up this weekend with two important players returning. 

Dael Fry has missed a number of weeks after suffering from a calf injury and Wednesday’s game proved just too soon for him.

Sol Bamba has been filling in for the player in the meantime and has done a very reliable job but given his age, it leaves Wilder with a decision to make regarding this position.

Matt Crooks missed Wednesday’s game through suspension after picking up 15 yellow cards this season and Riley McGree has filled in for him doing an impressive job scoring two goals in his previous two games.

However, the Boro boss has confirmed that both Fry and Crooks will be in contention for this week as he told Teesside Live: “Dael didn’t make it [on Wednesday]. He didn’t quite make it for this game, but I’d think he’ll definitely be available for the Stoke game.

“He just missed out. We looked at it and thought, is it worth it? But he should be available for the weekend, and with Crooksy coming back too, I’m delighted I’ve got a couple of little options that I need to sort out.”

Quiz: Which club did Middlesbrough sign these 24 players from in the 1990s?

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Steve Vickers

It will not just be form that Wilder has to consider when picking his team for Saturday though. His team have had just two days recovery ahead of the game whilst Stoke have a had a week. Furthermore, their opponents have won five of their last seven games so Boro will have to be able to compete against them.

Wilder said: “We just have to rest and recover now ahead of the weekend.

“Stoke have had a free week and have some very good players, but we take it deep. We take it to the 45th game of the season and I think that’s all we can ask of the boys.”

The Verdict: 

Although Wilder will now have some dilemmas surrounding his starting line-up for Saturday’s game, having Fry and Crooks available to the side provides him with a massive boost.

Furthermore with his side having had less time to prepare for the game, having the options on the bench to use will give Boro a great help in terms of having options on the bench.

This Saturday’s game will no doubt be a tricky one but Chris Wilder will be hoping his team will go into it with high confidence now they have ended their goal draught.

For now, the Middlesbrough boss will have to consider his best starting line-up for the game, a good problem to have while pursuing a play-off place.


Passionate football fan supporting Barnet FC and Newcastle United. Currently studying a masters at UCFB alongside writing for Football League World.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Chris Wilder reveals early team news ahead of Middlesbrough’s clash with Stoke City

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