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Boro v Birmingham preview

19 Aug 2011 11:31:00

Boro v Birmingham preview

Team news for Sunday's Championship clash between Middlesbrough and Birmingham at The Riverside (kick-off 3pm). New signing Faris Haroun goes straight into the Middlesbrough squad. The Belgium international midfielder signed a three-year deal on Thursday and could get his first taste of English football at the Riverside Stadium. He will be joined in the squad by defender Tony McMahon, who is available after serving a one-game ban in midweek following his dismissal at Leeds. Full-back Justin Hoyte remains a doubt after limping off with a recurrence of his thigh strain during the 3-1 win at Barnsley, although he will be given time to prove his fitness. Merouane Zemmama and Kevin Thomson remains on the long-term casualty list with hip muscle and shin and ankle problems respectively. Birmingham boss Chris Hughton will check on at least half a dozen members of his thin squad. Keith Fahey, Morgaro Gomis and Scott Dann missed the club's Europa League play-off first leg against CD Nacional in Portugal on Thursday night due to minor knocks, although midfielder Fahey was able to take his place on the bench. They added to the attacking trio of Cameron Jerome (heel), Marlon King (knee) and Nikola Zigic (groin), who failed to even fly out to Madeira and are yet to feature at all this season. Highly-rated youngster Jordon Mutch will definitely miss the encounter due to the ankle injury he picked up in training earlier this week, with the midfielder expected to be sidelined for some time. Otherwise, Blues head to Teesside buoyed by a positive goalless draw - during which they hit the woodwork three times - in what was their first venture into Europe for almost 50 years, a result which followed up last weekend's 1-0 Championship victory over Coventry.


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