Middlesbrough have received a major starting lineup boost for their early kick-off against Reading, with four players coming in for Neil Warnock’s side ahead of this clash.
Martin Payero makes his first start for Boro, with Isaiah Jones also coming in and key duo Paddy McNair and Marc Bola making the lineup for Boro as they search for a much-needed win on the road.
Middlesbrough have won just two of their eight league games so far this season after investing in 14 players in the summer, losing to recently-promoted Blackpool last weekend and compounding what has been a tough start to the campaign for Neil Warnock’s side.
Quiz: Have Middlesbrough ever been involved in these 18 scenarios?
However, they face a side they haven’t lost against since October 2015, winning their last two ties with Warnock at the Select Car Leasing Stadium and going unbeaten in their last nine games against the Royals.
They have dropped just two points in those nine meetings and against a team that is currently reeling from this week’s news about a potential points deduction, they will see this as the perfect opportunity to get three points on the board.
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The one disadvantage they may face is Reading fans being back in the stadium, with the Berkshire outfit’s supporters treating Neil Warnock as a villain over the years and giving the 72-year-old a tough time.
Can they turn this into a positive though? The team selection could be crucial – and we have taken a look at how some Middlesbrough fans have reacted to their lineup ahead of the 12:30pm kick-off.
If this team doesn't win today then questions gotta be asked of Warnock!
— Matt 🇦🇷 (@Matt_Rowney) September 25, 2021
— Jake (@jakemmfc) September 25, 2021
Perfect 😍 https://t.co/hDszhcsJUY
— Sam Myers (@_SamMyers_) September 25, 2021
Yaasssss Isaiah starts. Watching this https://t.co/IYa4hh3xDP
— Messer Best (@MesserBest) September 25, 2021
There were a few different line ups I'd have been more than happy with, but the key thing was going back to a Fry/McNair CB pairing. Nothing against Grant Hall mind. https://t.co/TpF5Fjh92B
— Rob Scott (@RobSc0tt) September 25, 2021
That’s a proper lineup, no excuses today 🔴⚪️ https://t.co/UMUSBPt03w
— Danny Taylor (@DannyTaylorDT) September 25, 2021
Like the look of this team and hope it’s 4 at the back. No Hernandez in the squad a slight worry. https://t.co/WKav4YU7G3
— Rob Fletcher (@rob_fletcher_) September 25, 2021
Jones Tav Sporar Payero all starting against a team with no centre halfs, if he can’t get a tune out of them today he’s got to go. https://t.co/9s0OFxpzJc
— Drake (@LiamMDrake) September 25, 2021