No fresh problems for new Middlesbrough boss Tony Pulis
New Middlesbrough boss Tony Pulis has no fresh injury or suspension concerns for the home clash with Aston Villa.
Craig Liddle was in the dugout for Boxing Day’s 2-0 win at Bolton – which moved Boro seventh – but Pulis watched from the stand and visited the dressing room at half-time.
This will be Pulis’ first official match in charge and it remains to be seen whether he names the same starting line-up for a third consecutive game.
George Friend came on at half-time to replace Fabio and will hope to have done enough to earn a place in the starting XI.
Villa’s injury problems continued to mount on Boxing Day as leading scorer Albert Adomah was forced off.
The 12-goal forward was kicked in the stomach early on in the defeat at Brentford and was withdrawn after just 18 minutes. Villa are assessing the extent of the problem but Adomah is a doubt for the game against his former club.
Villa already have captain John Terry (foot), fellow centre-half Chris Samba (hamstring), midfielder Henri Lansbury (hamstring) and strikers Gabby Agbonlahor (ankle) and Jonathan Kodjia (ankle) on the sidelines.
Josh Onomah made his return from a foot injury at Griffin Park, replacing Adomah, and the on-loan Tottenham midfielder could be back in the starting line-up on Saturday.