Middlesbrough vs Wigan preview
Last Updated: 09/11/18 11:59am
Daniel Ayala will return to the Middlesbrough squad for Saturday's Sky Bet Championship clash with Wigan.
The central defender missed last weekend's 0-0 draw at Stoke through suspension after reaching five bookings for the campaign, but is available after completing his one-match ban.
Loan signing Danny Batth got the nod at the Bet365 Stadium and manager Tony Pulis has a decision to make with the pair and youngster Dael Fry all vying for a place in the starting line-up.
Full-back Ryan Shotton is closing in on his return from a knee injury, but the game could come too soon for him, while midfielder Sam McQueen faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines after damaging his cruciate ligament during the Carabao Cup victory over Crystal Palace.
Wigan boss Paul Cook will be without midfielder Sam Morsy for the trip to the Riverside Stadium. The caution Morsy collected during the Latics' home defeat by Leeds on Sunday was his fifth of the season and he will sit out as a result.
Fellow midfielder Nick Powell missed the Leeds game with a leg injury and he continues to be assessed, while striker Will Grigg is battling his way back from a hamstring problem. Midfielder Gary Roberts is closing in on a return from the hamstring strain he suffered at Sheffield United in October 27.
Middlesbrough are unbeaten in seven league meetings with Wigan (W3 D4) since losing 0-1 in August 2007.
Wigan haven't scored a single goal in their last four league visits to the Riverside against Middlesbrough.
Middlesbrough have drawn each of their last three league games, they haven't recorded four league draws in a row since August 2016 (five successive draws).
Wigan have conceded eight goals in their last three Championship outings; as many as they had conceded in their previous eight in the competition.
Middlesbrough have kept 10 clean sheets in the Championship this season; three more than any other side.
Middlesbrough boss Tony Pulis is winless in nine matches against Wigan in all competitions (D6 L3) since a 2-0 win in May 2009 when he was Stoke manager.
David Prutton predicts: 1-0 (5/1 with Sky Bet)