Middlesbrough are facing a defensive injury crisis according to The Hartlepool Mail, with five defenders expected to miss out when they face Peterborough United this weekend.

Middlesbrough have had a poor start to the season, winning just three times in 11 games. They have drew a further three and lost five and sit in 15th place in the Championship table.

They will be looking to bounce back to winning ways against Peterborough on Saturday after a disappointing defeat away at Hull City last weekend.

But they will have to do this without the help of five of their first-team defenders.

Right-backs Anfernee Dijksteel and Darnell Fisher are both long-term absentees. The former is likely to miss the next few months, whereas Fisher sustained a ‘freak injury’ before the start of the season and will miss the entirety of the campaign.

Elsewhere, centre-backs Grant Hall and Dael Fry are also expected to sit out the visit of the Posh to the Riverside. Hall has missed Boro’s last three outings, whilst Fry was substituted through injury against Hull with 10 minutes to play.

In Dijksteel and Fisher’s absence, veteran Lee Peltier has stepped in and put in some more than adequate displays at right-back. However, he has accumulated five yellow cards in just six games and will serve a one match suspension as a result.

This means just Marc Bola and Sol Bamba are the club’s only available defenders.

Midfielder Paddy McNair is likely to drop into the back four accordingly, whilst there could be a place for youngster Williams Kokolo in the starting eleven.