Middlesbrough host Notts County in the first round of the Carabao Cup this evening, with Boro hoping to continue their unbeaten start to the season.
Tony Pulis has expressed that he will be ringing the changes, and is set to give some players on the peripheries of the squad a chance in tonight’s fixture.
Here is the potential XI for the cup tie against Notts County.
GK – Andy Lonergan
One of Middlesbrough’s summer signings was Andy Lonergan, who was a free agent after leaving Leeds United by mutual consent. It is expected that Darren Randolph will be given the game off, with either Lonergan or Dimi Konstantopolous given a chance in goal.
RB – Enes Mahmutovic
The Luxembourg international centre-half has not yet played a game for Middlesbrough’s first team but impressed in an unnatural right-back role in pre-season. He could be handed his first domestic start in a competitive fixture tonight.
CB – Nathan Wood
If Wood is to make his debut for Boro tonight, he would become the youngest ever player to play for the club. The 16 year old impressed in pre-season and has been on the bench numerous times this season already.
CB – Aden Flint
Although Dael Fry could start this fixture, it is likely a more experienced head would be preferred to partner Wood in the centre of defence, and Flint could be the man to do just that.
LB – Marvin Johnson
Not a natural left-back, Johnson could start the game in defence for the first time at Middlesbrough. George Friend is the only recognised left-back at the club, but Johnson was given the role in pre-season and looked good enough to be given the nod in this Carabao Cup clash.
CM – Grant Leadbitter
The club-captain has found himself on the bench for the last two Championship games, losing his place to Lewis Wing, but he will undoubtedly start this game.
CM – Paddy McNair
Summer signing Paddy McNair hasn’t started for his new club as yet, but will be expected to start the game at The Riverside against Notts County and get in his managers good books to cement a place in the Championship starting eleven.
CM – Julien De Sart
Many Middlesbrough fans will be forgiven for forgetting Julien De Sart was still at the club. His two loan spells away were a success with Derby County and Zulte Waragem, and he is now ready to compete for his place at Boro.
RW – Marcus Tavernier
Tony Pulis has confirmed Tavernier will feature in the game, and has looked promising in his short career on Teesside so far. He may play as a central attacking midfielder, but could also be deployed out wide.
ST – Ashley Fletcher
Given both Rudy Gestede and Jordan Hugill are on the treatment table and Britt Assombalonga has played every game so far this season, Fletcher will be hoping he gets to lead the line tonight. A goal or two would certainly help his confidence here.
LW – Harry Chapman
Another player Pulis has said is likely to play is Harry Chapman. He is a midfielder who is exciting a lot of Middlesbrough fans, and they will be looking forwards to seeing Chapman in his first competitive game for Boro.