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Successive home games for Boro

Successive home games for Boro

Middlesbrough can get right back on track with successive home games starting against Blackburn Rovers on Boxing Day.

Manager Tony Mowbray will need to check on the availability of Nicky Bailey, Andre Bikey and Ishmael Miller (all illness) after missing their recent defeat at Leeds United. Goalkeeper Jason Steele and striker Marvin Emnes were also struggling but managed to turn out at Elland Road.

Australian international Rhys Williams travelled to that game after returning from an ankle injury and could be involved.

"I think it's a bit early for Rhys and yet we might have to rush him back because of a lack of numbers," Mowbray confirmed to the Evening Gazette. "Steele was vomiting before the Leeds game but played, Emnes had a bad stomach. I wasn't going to mention it because I don't want to sound like I'm making excuses, but it was an issue.

"We had to leave Bailey, Bikey and Miller back at home because they all had a bug," he continued. "But we won't be the only team to suffer this kind of setback."

Blackburn have midfielders Danny Murphy and David Dunn available alongside defender Markus Olsson following illness.

But Mauro Formica (foot) is considered doubtful while Fabio Nunes and Nuno Gomes are both sidelined by hamstring trouble.

Following the arrival of Rovers, fourth-placed Boro then host Blackpool at the weekend before travelling to Derby County on New Year's Day.

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Writer:Vital Boro
Date:Wednesday December 26 2012
Time: 12:00PM

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# Team P W D L Pts. GD
C Burnley 46 26 15 5 93 37
P Middlesbrough 46 26 11 9 89 32
3 Brighton 46 24 17 5 89 30
4 Hull City 46 24 11 11 83 34
5 Derby County 46 21 15 10 78 23
6 Sheff Wed 46 19 17 10 74 21
7 Ipswich 46 18 15 13 69 2
8 Cardiff 46 17 17 12 68 5
9 Brentford 46 19 8 19 65 5
10 Birmingham 46 16 15 15 63 4
11 Preston 46 15 17 14 62 0
12 Q.P.R. 46 14 18 14 60 0
13 Leeds Utd 46 14 17 15 59 -8
14 Wolves 46 14 16 16 58 -5
15 Blackburn 46 13 16 17 55 0
16 Forest 46 13 16 17 55 -4
17 Reading 46 13 13 20 52 -7
18 Bristol City 46 13 13 20 52 -17
19 Huddersfield 46 13 12 21 51 -11
20 Fulham 46 12 15 19 51 -13
21 Rotherham 46 13 10 23 49 -18
R Charlton 46 9 13 24 40 -40
R MK Dons 46 9 12 25 39 -30
R Bolton 46 5 15 26 30 -40
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