Aston Villa v Middlesbrough preview
Last Updated: 11/09/17 7:21pm
Aston Villa forward Jonathan Kodjia may return from a broken ankle to face Middlesbrough.
The striker is back in full training and could make the bench if the club feel he is ready to make a first-team comeback, having been out since April.
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Josh Onomah (muscle), Andre Green (hamstring) and Keinan Davis (hip) will all be assessed after they were withdrawn in Saturday's 0-0 draw with Brentford. Jack Grealish (kidney) and Rushian Hepburn-Murphy (thigh) are out as Villa search for their second league win of the season.
Marvin Johnson is pushing for his full Middlesbrough debut following an impressive first appearance at Bolton on Saturday. The winger, who joined from Oxford on transfer deadline day for an undisclosed fee, came off the bench to score the third goal in Boro's 3-0 win at the Macron Stadium.
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Fellow deadline-day signing Ryan Shotton is likely to have to wait longer for his debut for Garry Monk's side after being an unused substitute, while Britt Assombalonga, who took his tally to four goals this season at the weekend, will lead the line once again.
Rudy Gestede is out for an unspecified amount of time due to surgery on a thigh injury while Martin Braithwaite is unlikely to feature as he recovers from a hamstring problem.
Villa have won one of their last six home league meetings with Middlesbrough (D2 L3), a 2-0 victory in March 2005.
This is the first time these sides have met in the second tier since February 1988, when Boro beat Villa at Ayresome Park courtesy of goals from Alan Kernaghan and Tony Mowbray in a 2-1 win.
Aston Villa have lost just one of their last 11 home league games, winning seven and drawing three.
Middlesbrough's win at Bolton in their last outing ended a run of 20 league games without victory on the road (L13 D7) - they've not won back-to-back away league games since April 2016.
Only Leeds (5) have kept more clean sheets in the Championship than Middlesbrough this season (4, level with Wolves and Preston).
Two of the pre-season favourites meet at Villa Park but neither have had quite the dream start they would have been hoping for. Aston Villa would have been hoping for a morale-boosting victory over Brentford on Saturday but they couldn't manage it.
Middlesbrough, meanwhile, got a good win at Bolton and it looks like things may finally be starting to gel under Garry Monk. Away win for me here.
Prutton predicts: 1-2 (10/1 with Sky Bet)