Middlesbrough vs Aston Villa preview: Championship clash live on Sky Sports Football
Watch live on Sky Sports Football from 5.15pm on Saturday
Last Updated: 30/11/18 12:56pm
Middlesbrough's Rudy Gestede has been ruled out of the Sky Bet Championship clash with his former club Aston Villa on Saturday due to a hamstring injury.
The forward was substituted against Preston and manager Tony Pulis has not given a return date for Gestede,
Lewis Wing could feature despite being substituted on Tuesday, although the club are still assessing the injury. The youngster trained on Thursday and a late decision will be made about whether Wing is rested for another week or is deemed fit to play against Villa.
The visitors will be hoping John McGinn will be available after he played the majority of their thrilling 5-5 draw with Nottingham Forest on Wednesday. McGinn missed the derby against Birmingham last weekend and according to manager Dean Smith is still being treated as an injured player.
Alan Hutton will miss the game after incurring his fifth booking of the season on Wednesday, while Albert Adomah is out with an ankle injury. Of the long-term injured, Mile Jedinak is close to a return, Keinan Davis has returned to training, and Birkir Bjarnason and Henri Lansbury could return in a few weeks.
Middlesbrough and Aston Villa haven't met since last season's Championship play-offs - Villa won 1-0 on aggregate via a 1-0 away win at the Riverside Stadium.
In all competitions, Aston Villa and Middlesbrough met five times last season - Villa kept four clean sheets in those games (W2 D2 L1).
In all competitions, Tony Pulis has collected just one win in his last seven matches against Aston Villa (D2 L4).
Dean Smith has never beaten Middlesbrough as a manager in four meetings in all competitions (D2 L2) - he's faced a different manager each time (Mowbray, Karanka, Monk, Pulis).
Jonny Howson's four assists have earned Middlesbrough seven points in the Championship this season - only Matt Phillips' (eight points from five assists) has earned his side more.
Aston Villa have recovered 14 points from trailing positions in this season's Championship, the most in the division.
Is this game going to be another 10-goal thriller involving Aston Villa? I can't imagine that's too likely with Middlesbrough involved! Considering they have conceded just 10 times in their 19 games so far.
Villa would have been disappointed not to hold on against Nottingham Forest on Wednesday night, but what an incredible game it was. Boro will make it tough for them at the Riverside and I fancy them to edge the win.
Prutton predicts: 2-1 (17/2 with Sky Bet)