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Middlesbrough vs Stoke – Match Preview

Middlesbrough midfielder Grant Leadbitter is out following hernia surgery, while a dislocated shoulder rules out full-back James Husband.

Boro are otherwise at full strength, with Daniel Ayala and Bernardo Espinosa fit after recovering from injuries.

Stoke keeper Jack Butland (ankle) misses out, meaning 40-year-old Shay Given or Jakob Haugaard will start.

Joe Allen is set for his debut but defender Glen Johnson is doubtful (thigh).

Stephen Ireland is out with a broken leg, while Ibrahim Afellay is also a long-term absentee with a knee ligament injury.

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