According to The Northern Echo, Middlesbrough manager Tony Pulis is set to play the team’s youngsters in their Carabao Cup game against Rochdale at The Riverside this evening.

Middlesbrough scraped through on penalties in round one against League Two side Notts County, drawing the game 3-3 in normal time. Goals from Enes Mahmutovic and a brace from Ashley Fletcher meant the home side avoided an embarrassing defeat, and both players are expected to keep their places tonight against Rochdale.

Tony Pulis is expected to make changes from Boro’s Championship fixture on Friday night, as they came out 1-0 winners against West Bromwich Albion. However, there may be few changes from the first round of the Carabao Cup, with the youngsters taking their place in the starting line up once more.

The report in The Northern Echo states that the likes of Marcus Tavernier and Lewis Wing will come into midfield alongside possibly Grant Leadbitter and/or Paddy McNair. Whereas, Andy Lonergan will take the place of Darren Randolph in the Boro goal, with Nathan McGinley coming in at left-back to replace George Friend.

Up front is where it could be a guessing game. Ashley Fletcher has been attracting both Sheffield United and Hull in recent weeks but could be given a chance this evening. New signing Jordan Hugill played nine minutes on Friday night but also could be given his first start for the club in a competitive fixture.

Another player that could start at striker is Stephen Walker who impressed on his debut in the last round, setting up Boro’s third goal and scoring his penalty confidently in the shootout.

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Lifelong Boro fan - from the highs of watching Juninho and the Carling Cup victory, to the lows of Gordon Strachan and Lee Dong Gook

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