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STARTING XIs: Canaries unchanged at Boro, as promotion rivals Sheffield United lose

PUBLISHED: 16:42 30 March 2019 | UPDATED: 17:01 30 March 2019

Grant Hanley and Teemu Pukki take in the Riverside ahead of kick-off, which is called the Captain James Cook Stadium for one day Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Image

Grant Hanley and Teemu Pukki take in the Riverside ahead of kick-off, which is called the Captain James Cook Stadium for one day Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Image

Paul Chesterton

Middlesbrough will start with two strikers against league leaders Norwich City, who are unchanged for a seventh successive Championship game, as they chase a seventh win on the spin.

The big news ahead of kick-off however is a 3-2 defeat for Sheffield United at home to Bristol City, who lost second place to Leeds, who won an eventful home game 3-2 against Millwall – opening up a chance for Norwich to move seven points clear of the Blades in third, if they can win at Boro.

Max Aarons, Ben Godfrey, Jamal Lewis, Kenny McLean and Teemu Pukki all retain their places despite action for their countries during the past fortnight.

City arrive on Teesside looking to extend a six-game winning streak which has left them in a fine position to secure promotion to the Premier League, guaranteed to still be leading the Championship at full-time.

Boro come into the game on the back of three consecutive defeats and facing a serious threat to their play-off hopes.

Todd Cantwell of Norwich and Max Aarons of Norwich before the Sky Bet Championship match at the Riverside Stadium, Middlesbrough
 Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus ImagesTodd Cantwell of Norwich and Max Aarons of Norwich before the Sky Bet Championship match at the Riverside Stadium, Middlesbrough Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Home boss Tony Pulis makes three changes to his starting XI from the 3-0 loss at Aston Villa ahead of the international break, switching to a 5-3-2 shape and starting with Britt Assombalonga and Ashley Fletcher up front.

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Adam Clayton also comes into midfield – where he plays alongside former Canaries player Jonny Howson – with George Saville, Jordan Hugill and the injured Lewis Wing dropping out.

NORWICH: Krul; Aarons, Zimmermann (C), Godfrey, Lewis; Trybull, McLean; Buendia, Stiepermann, Hernandez; Pukki. Subs: McGovern (GK), Hanley, Klose, Leitner, Vrancic, Cantwell, Rhodes

Norwich Head Coach Daniel Farke before the Sky Bet Championship match at the Riverside Stadium, Middlesbrough
 Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus ImagesNorwich Head Coach Daniel Farke before the Sky Bet Championship match at the Riverside Stadium, Middlesbrough Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

BORO: Randolph; Shotton, Ayala, Flint, Fry, Friend (C); Howson, Mikel, Clayton; Fletcher, Assombalonga. Subs: Konstantopoulos (GK), McNair, Saville, Besic, Downing, Tavernier, Hugill

REFEREE: David Coote (Nottinghamshire)

• You can follow all the action from the Riverside with our reporters in our Matchday Live blog at pinkun.com/live

• Make sure to download the Pink Un App as well, for exclusive insight and analysis from our Canaries correspondents, available for free in your mobile device’s app store

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