Middlesbrough V Preston North End at Riverside Stadium : Match Preview

24 August 2017
Martin Braithwaite faces late test for Middlesbrough

Middlesbrough striker Martin Braithwaite will undergo a late fitness test ahead of the Sky Bet Championship clash with Preston.

Summer signing Braithwaite has been out of action with a hamstring problem since making his debut for the club on the opening day of the season, but although he is closing in on a return, he may have to wait until after the international break.

Central defender Dani Ayala made his comeback after a three-game absence with an ankle injury in Tuesday night's 3-0 Carabao Cup victory over Scunthorpe, for which manager Garry Monk made nine changes.

Monk handed senior debuts to youngsters Connor Roberts and Marcus Tavernier in that game, but is likely to revert to his tried and tested line-up once again.

Paul Gallagher looks set to miss out for Preston once again.

The forward suffered a head injury against Derby so sat out the fixture against Reading last weekend, with boss Alex Neil admitting he has not taken part in full training this week as North End lean on medical advice regarding his concussion.

Calum Woods (groin) and John Welsh (calf) appeared in a behind-closed-doors friendly on Tuesday so they could come back into the reckoning after the international break.

That could be when goalkeeper Declan Rudd (thigh) returns too, though Tom Clarke (Achilles) and Greg Cunningham (knee) have long-term problems.

Source: PAR