Middlesbrough v Sheff Utd preview
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Last Updated: 07/08/18 7:48pm
George Baldock is confident Sheffield United will bounce back from their opening-day defeat when they travel to Middlesbrough on Tuesday night.
The Blades' Championship campaign began with a disappointing 2-1 home loss against Swansea on Saturday evening, despite Baldock putting his side in front.
The 25-year-old right-back expects another difficult game at the Riverside Stadium on Tuesday but he believes the Blades will give a positive reaction.
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"It was a tight match against Swansea and bitterly disappointing and we'll have to work hard to put it right," Baldock told the club's official website.
"But there will be lots of ups and downs this season and we relish tests like Middlesbrough, we just can't wait to get back out there again and put it right. I'd trade any goal I score for three points. We're so close to being a very good team, it's small margins and nothing is won or lost after one game, so it's down to us to bounce back."
Boro will be buoyed by battling back from two goals down to draw 2-2 away at Millwall, with George Friend scoring the equaliser deep into added time.
Middlesbrough boss Tony Pulis has a handful of injuries to contend with as he assembles his squad for the game, with Dani Ayala, Paddy McNair and Rudy Gestede are all expected to miss out.
There are reports circulating that Boro have agreed a fee with Wolves for the sale of Adama Traore, with the winger likely to be absent should details be correct that the move will be finalised 'within 24-48 hours'.
Chris Wilder has no fresh injury concerns but may consider changes following an opening defeat to Swansea.
Billy Sharp and Liverpool loanee Ben Woodburn will be eager for starts after coming off the bench in the 2-1 defeat, while playmaker Mark Duffy made only a late cameo and will hope to feature for longer.
Key midfielder Paul Coutts has finally returned to full training after suffering a broken leg in November, while defender Jake Wright is still recovering from a cheekbone injury.
Middlesbrough have won four of their last five home matches against Sheffield United in all competitions (D1).
Sheffield United have failed to score in any of their last four visits to the Riverside Stadium in all competitions, last scoring away against Middlesbrough in a 3-1 defeat in the Premier League on New Year's Day 2007.
Middlesbrough have won their second league fixture of the season in six of the last seven seasons, losing only in 2014-15 against Leeds United - their second league fixture last season was a 1-0 home win against Sheffield United.
Ten of the last 11 league goals Sheffield United have conceded have been in the second half of games, including both against Swansea in their first league match of 2018-19.
Middlesbrough haven't lost a home league match when scoring first since March 2014 (1-3 v QPR) - they are unbeaten in 54 home league games when scoring the first goal of the game (W48 D6) and won all 12 home Championship games last season when doing so.
Sheffield United have lost their first away league match of the season in each of their last five campaigns.