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Obita & Hector start; Norwood full debut

30 August 2014

Duo passed fit while new signing starts

Nigel Adkins has included both Michael Hector and Jordan Obita in defence after the duo passed late fitness tests to make the starting line-up for this afternoon's clash at The Riverside Stadium.

Hector and Obita missed out on a trip to Scunthorpe earlier in the week through injury, but both return for the match at Middlesbrough today. However, the Royals' injury list remains very, very long, with Shaun Cummings and Nick Blackman adding their names to the absentee list with knee injuries this week.

New signing Oliver Norwood starts for the Royals for the first time, following a substitute appearance late in the defeat at Nottingham Forest last weekend. He partners Aaron Kuhl in the centre of midfield, while Jamie Mackie earns his full league debut for the club.

Out of action are Stephen Kelly, Anton Ferdinand, Shaun Cummings, Jem Karacan, Danny Guthrie, Danny Williams, Garath McCleary, Nick Blackman, Aaron Tshibola, Hal Robson-Kanu and Pavel Pogrebnyak.

So the substitutes bench is full of youth once more, Tariqe Fosu named for the first time in a league match alongside the likes of Jack Stacey, Jake Cooper and Sean Long. Craig Tanner is fit enough to take a place on the bench too, despite suffering a knock at Glanford Park on Tuesday night. Mikkel Andersen plays understudy to Adam Federici, while young stopper Dan Lincoln is here for the first team experience.

Middlesbrough: Mejias; Abella, Omeruo, Hines, Friend; Leadbitter, Clayton, Adomah, Reach; Tomlin, Kike.
Dimi, Ledesma, Gibson, Williams, Whitehead, Ayala, Bamford.

Royals: Federici; Gunter (c), Obita, Pearce, Hector; Kuhl, Norwood, Taylor,
Edwards, Cox, Mackie.
Subs: Andersen, Long, Cooper, Akpan, Stacey, Fosu, Tanner.

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