Middlesbrough will look to remain top of the table going into the boxing day clashes as they travel to Ewood Park to play Championship strugglers Blackburn.
Boro have been in fine form recently, racking up 16 of 18 possible points in their last six affairs, most recently putting Brighton’s astonishing unbeaten run to end, with a 3-0 victory at the Amex.
Aitor Karanka has no fresh injury worries to think about as Middlesbrough travel south with a full strength squad. Australian international Rhys Williams, who is yet to play a match for Boro in their 2015/16 campaign, is “very close” to making a full recovery following a horrifying Achilles injury.
On the other hand, Blackburn have been struggling to kick start their season, currently sitting in a very mediocre 14th place. The team have found it very hard to recover from the sale of their main man last season, Rudy Gestede to Aston Villa, and his former partner in crime, Jordan Rhodes has also struggled to hit the mark.
Although Rovers haven’t looked at their best, they have done quite well for themselves in recent times, tallying up 11 points in six matches, and slowly heading up the Championship table.
They will most likely start the match without midfielder Corry Evans, who is a doubt with a groin injury. Jason Lowe, who has been out since August with a foot problem, remains sidelined.
A win for Boro will strengthen their bid for automatic promotion, while three points for the home side could see them rise as high as 11th.