Middlesbrough v Manchester United preview
By Mark Buckingham
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Former United assistant manager Steve McClaren has guided his troops on an eight-match undefeated spell in the league - a sequence that has been built on a solid defence.
Boro have not conceded in their last four Premiership matches at The Riverside and boast a proud recent record over The Red Devils.
McClaren's men have won three of the last four meetings and will hope to rediscover the goalscoring touch which earned a 3-1 success in this fixture last season.
The title holders head to Teesside looking to go into the New Year on top of the Premiership pile and prolong their four-match winning streak.
On the injury front, Boro will be hoping to welcome back Danny Mills, who missed the Boxing Day draw at Blackburn due to a bout of flu.
Ugo Ehiogu was on the substitutes' bench at Ewood Park and is waiting for his first start of the season after recovering from a cruciate ligament injury.
United could ring the changes again after Sir Alex Ferguson fielded a weakened team for the 3-2 triumph over Everton at Old Trafford.
Ruud van Nistelrooy, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Roy Keane and Phil Neville are all pressing for recalls to the starting line-up.
John O'Shea is definitely out, meaning Quinton Fortune is likely to fill in at left back while Mikael Silvestre is a major doubt with a knee injury.
Gary Neville could shift across to centre half unless Ferguson decides to gamble on the match sharpness of Wes Brown who has yet to feature in the first team this term.