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Middlesbrough handed potential major boost ahead of this weekend’s vital clash

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Middlesbrough could have star striker Patrick Bamford available again for the upcoming Championship clash with Derby County, according to a report by The Northern Echo.

Bamford was forced off after 34 minutes in last weekend’s 2-1 win over Bristol City with Britt Assombalonga replacing him.

After a collision with towering Bristol City defender Aden Flint, Bamford received ten minutes of treatment before he was eventually stretchered off after he was given oxygen and put in a neck brace.

This had Middlesbrough fans understandably worried that he would miss out on the weekend trip to Pride Park, where Boro will take on Derby in a six pointer towards the top of the league.

But Tony Pulis is confident that Bamford is fine, although Boro might be forced to perform a check on him this Friday before the game on Saturday to make sure.

The 24-year-old has been a key figure up front for Middlesbrough this season, scoring 12 goals in all competitions despite a slow start to life back at the Riverside Stadium.

Boro’s victory over Bristol City last weekend saw them re-enter the top six, leapfrogging Millwall and Derby into fifth place and now they face the Rams in another important match in the play-off race.

The Verdict

Having Bamford fit would be an unquestionable bonus for Middlesbrough and they know a victory over Derby would firmly cement their place in the play-offs ahead of the last two games. Bamford is in form, although Britt Assombalonga will be eager to take his chance if the former Chelsea man is declared not fit. Boro have options up front but Pulis will be hoping that his star striker is fully fit for the run-in.

Boro fans – What do you make of the Bamford update? Let us know below…

NCTJ-qualified journalist - University of Birmingham undergraduate - King's College London postgraduate - Coventry City and West Ham United

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