Middlesbrough V Sunderland at Riverside Stadium : Match Preview

04 January 2018
Boro boss Tony Pulis to shuffle his pack for derby

Middlesbrough boss Tony Pulis is likely to make changes for Saturday's FA Cup third-round clash with derby rivals Sunderland.

Pulis is still assessing the squad he inherited from predecessor Garry Monk and could use the tie to have a look at players who are yet to have an opportunity since his arrival at the Riverside Stadium.

The manager, who drafted Cyrus Christie, Adlene Guedioura and Adama Traore into his team for Monday's 3-2 Sky Bet Championship win at Preston, has a full squad available to him.

However, full-back Fabio is unlikely to be involved after asking to leave the club as he seeks a return to his native Brazil.

Sunderland boss Chris Coleman is facing something of an injury crisis as he turns his attention to the cup having seen the club slip to the foot of the Championship table after the latest round of fixtures.

Darron Gibson could be sidelined for up to 10 weeks by a groin injury, while fellow midfielders Paddy McNair (also groin) and Aiden McGeady (calf) will be assessed, but are doubtful.

Full-back Adam Matthews is out with a calf problem, while midfielder Lynden Gooch is facing another 7-10 days on the sidelines with a hamstring injury, joining Lee Cattermole (thigh), Didier Ndong (ankle), Jack Rodwell (hamstring), Jonny Williams (shoulder), Lamine Kone and Duncan Watmore (both knee) in the treatment room.

In addition, defender Marc Wilson missed Monday's 1-0 home defeat by Barnsley with a calf problem, as once again did striker Lewis Grabban, although full-back Bryan Oviedo's half-time withdrawal was purely tactical.

Source: PAR