Middlesbrough are preparing for a vital game against Paul Ince’s Reading on Saturday, March 4, as they look to keep the pressure on the top two in the Championship.
Boro are set to be without the services of Rodrigo Muniz and Matt Clarke for the game against the Royals – Muniz has been out since December, while Clarke hasn’t featured since October.
Additionally, Paddy McNair and Anfernee Dijksteel are both doubts. The former Manchester United starlet was stretchered off in Middlesbrough’s last game following a collision – if he suffered a concussion as a result, he will be required to be out of action for two weeks, in accordance with the FA’s concussion protocol. Currently, his availability is unclear, according to Carrick.
In the game that saw McNair brought off, Boro fell to a disappointing 2-0 defeat against West Brom. The Baggies struck quickly, scoring two goals within the first ten minutes. This double salvo completely stunned Middlesbrough, who failed to find a response – the game ended 2-0.
Meanwhile, Reading were victorious in their last game as Paul Ince took on his old club – Blackpool. The Royals have been on a poor run, but were able to steady the ship as Tom Ince scored a brace and former Liverpool striker Andy Carroll converted a penalty.
Middlesbrough and Reading have already played each other once this season, all the way back in August, when Boro were still managed by former Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder. In that game, Reading won by a score of 1-0 – can Boro gain a modicum of revenge on Saturday?