Middlesbrough are set to be without nine first team players this weekend, as they face Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road.

Middlesbrough are struggling for form at present, with Jonathan Woodgate’s side in the relegation zone and winless in eight.

A lack of goals has been a glaring issue for Boro, with just 11 goals in total in 15 games so far this campaign, and Woodgate confirmed they have just two attacking players available this weekend.

“My options are Britt (Assombalonga), Stephen Walker… that’s it” he said in an interview which appears on The Hartlepool Mail.

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Assombalonga has been lacking confidence lately, missing key chances in the draw at Huddersfield and the defeat at Derby. But the DR Congo striker will be first choice against the R’s given Walker is just 19 and is yet to start a game for Boro in the Championship.

Forwards Ashley Fletcher, Rudy Gestede and Marcus Browne are all on the treatment table and will miss the game against QPR, along with goalkeepers Darren Randolph and Aynsley Pears, defenders Ryan Shotton and George Friend, Ben Liddle is ill and George Saville is suspended.

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Nine players will be missing for the clash at Loftus Road this weekend. With Boro’s squad thin on the ground without injuries, this will prove a huge test for Woodgate.

The Head Coach confirmed that they may have to look to their youngsters a little earlier than planned this season. “The bench has been young so we will have to play some young players” he said.

The likes of Liddle and Walker have been substitutes often this season, alongside the likes of 17-year old Nathan Wood and 19-year old Djed Spence.

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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