STARTING XIs: Canaries unchanged at Boro, as promotion rivals Sheffield United lose
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
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.
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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.
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NORWICH: Krul; Aarons, Zimmermann (C), Godfrey, Lewis; Trybull, McLean; Buendia, Stiepermann, Hernandez; Pukki. Subs: McGovern (GK), Hanley, Klose, Leitner, Vrancic, Cantwell, Rhodes
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)
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