As Jonathan Woodgate deals with injury crisis, is this how Middlesbrough will line up at QPR?

As Jonathan Woodgate deals with injury crisis, is this how Middlesbrough will line up at QPR?

Boro head for Loftus Road without a win in eight games and without a goal in four

Jonathan Woodgate has had to deal with a well documented injury crisis ahead of Saturday's trip to Queens Park Rangers.

Boro could be without NINE first team players at Loftus Road, a flurry of setbacks that has stretched an already thin squad to the absolute limit.

In his press conference this week, the manager had a pre-prepared list of potential absentees. And so, when he was asked about the latest on the injury front, off he went, reeling off almost a full team's worth of injured or suspended players.

George Saville is suspended having seen red at Derby last week, which forces Woodgate into his first change from the team that started at Pride Park. And Marcus Browne suffered a hamstring injury playing for the Under-23s against Manchester United on Monday night. Then there's Aynsley Pears to consider, the young keeper having suffered a finger injury.

That means Woodgate could be forced into three changes from last week's team.

On top of that, the manager has Ashley Fletcher, Rudy Gestede, Ryan Shotton, Darren Randolph and George Friend all out injured, while Ben Liddle is ill.

Could Woodgate spring a surprise with the inclusion of any of the above players in the team or even the squad at Loftus Road? That remains to be seen.

How Boro could do with one of their injured stars returning ahead of schedule, but Woodgate didn't sound particularly positive on that front at Rockliffe this week.

  

So given the above issues, how could Boro start at QPR?

If indeed Randolph and Pears miss out then Tomas Mejias will come in for his first league start since returning to the club in the summer.

In midfield, what will Woodgate do to replace Saville? Does Adam Clayton come back into the side or does Jonny Howson move from wing-back into midfield? Perhaps Woodgate does both, with Marcus Tavernier moving forward into an attacking midfield role in place of Browne to support Britt Assombalonga and Anfernee Dijksteel coming in at right-back.

A predicted Middlesbrough team:

Mejias; Dijksteel, McNair, Ayala, Fry, Johnson; Clayton, Howson, Wing; Tavernier, Assombalonga.

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