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Lea Siliki starts: The predicted Middlesbrough XI to face Millwall on Saturday



Middlesbrough host Millwall on Saturday in what is a massive game for the club with Chris Wilder set to take charge of his game at the Riverside since he took over from Neil Warnock.

Wilder has had time during the international break to work with a large group of his squad that were not away on international duty. That means that he has had the chance to assess the players that could be ready to be named in his first starting line-up as he aims to make a winning start as Middlesbrough manager.

Boro are going to have to get off to a good start under their new manager if they have any hopes of getting themselves back up towards the sides chasing the top-six positions come the end of the campaign. Wilder inherits a side in 14th place in the table, but they are only sat four points adrift of the play-offs and just three points off 9th placed Millwall.

It will be interesting to see the sort of formation and line-up that Wilder looks to deploy in his first game in charge. Middlesbrough it must not be forgotten did produce a good performance in Warnock’s last game in the draw at West Brom, so it might not be a case of wholesale changes needing to be made.

With that in mind, we take a look at the starting XI Wilder could name for his first game in charge of Middlesbrough…

It is expected that Wilder could once again adopt the 3-5-2 formation that brought him so much success during his time in charge of Sheffield United. It does also help that Warnock ended his time in charge of Boro deploying that formation as well during the 1-1 draw at West Brom, although the dynamics of the set-up will be much changed under the new boss.

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Luke Daniels could keep his place in between the sticks for Wilder’s first game in charge, although Joe Lumley and now even the forgotten Dejan Stojanovic could be handed a chance to make a fresh claim for the number one goalkeeper position at the Riverside.

Injury issues remain a real problem for Middlesbrough at the back and as a result, Wilder might have to go with the same back three of Sol Bamba, Grant Hall and Johnny Howson that started Boro’s last Championship fixture at West Brom. It will be interesting to see whether Howson is allowed to step out of the defence as we saw from some of Sheffield United’s centre-backs under Wilder.

Down the right-hand side, Isaiah Jones should keep his place and he is fresh from signing a new contract and he will be keen to make sure he convinces Wilder he should be his first choice right-wing-back.

Down the left, Neil Taylor has arrived at the Riverside to be the new manager’s first signing, but Lee Peltier could keep his place for this one.

In terms of the midfield three, Paddy McNair might sit this game out with him having picked up a knock on international duty with Northern Ireland. If that is the case then James Lea Siliki could get an early chance to impress Wilder. He could be joined by Martin Payero and Marcus Tavernier.

Upfront, Andraz Sporar and Uche Ikpeazu are doubts for this game, so it might be a case of Wilder sticking with the same pair that started at West Brom. Josh Coburn scored the final goal of the Warnock era and should keep his place while Duncan Watmore will also have the chance to impress.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Lea Siliki starts: The predicted Middlesbrough XI to face Millwall on Saturday

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