Preview: Millwall vs. Middlesbrough

© Edmund Boyden

GOALKEEPER Steve Mildenhall is a major injury doubt ahead of Millwall's crucial Championship clash with Middlesbrough this evening.

Mildenhall is struggling with a reoccurrence of an ankle injury which had ruled him out since late-January before his return to the Lions squad last week at Brighton.

It could mean that Republic of Ireland international David Forde makes an immediate return to the starting line-up, having been deposed by Mildenhall ahead of last Saturday's FA Cup defeat to Bolton.

The Lions, however, are set to be boosted by the return of midfielder Jimmy Abdou, who looks to have overcome a knee injury that has troubled him in recent weeks.

Abdou could return to the starting line-up in place of Jack Smith, who has adopted a holding midfield role in previous matches, however midfielder Josh Wright will also be pushing for a starting place following his close involvement with the first team in recent weeks.

Manager Kenny Jackett may once again shuffle his pack as the Lions search for a change in fortune at The Den, having failed to find the net in their last three fixtures at home.

Winger Hamer Bouazza should be involved in some capacity following his substitute appearance on Saturday, having fully overcome a groin injury.

Millwall will, however, be without the services of forward Shaun Batt, who has today joined League Two Crawley Town on a four-week emergency loan.

Middlesbrough travel to The Den boosted by the return of talisman Barry Robson, who looks set to return to Boro’s match-day squad following a three-match absence due to a broken hand.

However, fellow midfielder Kevin Thomson is unavailable through suspension following his red card against Nottingham Forest last Tuesday in a 2-1 away win. The Scottish international is serving the first of a two-game ban.

Midfielder Nicky Bailey is continuing his recovery from medial knee ligament damage and the former Charlton Athletic man has not made the journey south.

Goalkeeper Danny Coyne and striker Scott McDonald are also ruled out with calf and knee injuries respectively as manager Tony Mowbray continues to endure injury problems.

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