Middlesbrough vs Brentford preview
Last Updated: 07/03/19 6:04pm
Middlesbrough boss Tony Pulis could have George Friend back at his disposal for Saturday's Sky Bet Championship clash with Brentford.
The full-back has returned to light training after a hamstring injury and will be assessed before Pulis names his side.
However, fellow defender Aden Flint, who has missed the last three games with a similar problem, is likely to sit out once again. Boro's medical staff continue to monitor defender Ryan Shotton (knee) and midfielder Lewis Wing (groin) as they attempt to nurse them through niggles.
Brentford will head for Teesside boosted by the return of several players in recent weeks. Kamohelo Mokotjo started last weekend's 3-0 derby win over QPR having sat out the midweek defeat at Sheffield Wednesday with calf and Achilles problems.
Fellow midfielder Emiliano Marcondes made his first appearance since December as a substitute in the same game following his recovery from an ankle injury. In addition, midfielder Lewis MacLeod has returned to training after sitting out since the beginning of December with a hamstring injury, while defender Rico Henry (foot) is edging his way back towards fitness.
Middlesbrough are unbeaten in 12 matches against Brentford in all competitions (W10 D2) since a 1-2 defeat in the FA Cup in January 1964.
Brentford are winless in seven away visits to Middlesbrough (W0 D1 L6) in all competitions, last winning there in March 1938.
Tony Pulis hasn't faced Brentford at home in a league match since December 1997 when he was Gillingham manager, a 3-1 victory in a third tier match.
Middlesbrough have kept a clean sheet in each of their last three Championship games (W2 D1), their longest such run since August 2018 (five in a row).
Brentford have only won once away from home in the Championship this season (W1 D7 L8) - only Rotherham have won fewer on the road (0).
Said Benrahma has been directly involved in 13 league goals for Brentford in 2019 (seven goals, six assists); the most of any Championship player.
David Prutton predicts: 1-1 (5/1 with Sky Bet)