Football

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Kitson in line for Boro bow

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Middlesbrough will hand a debut to Dave Kitson at home to Nottingham Forest after he joined on loan from Stoke this week.

Manager Gordon Strachan could rekindle the striker`s partnership with Leroy Lita which was so potent during their time at Reading.

Austria defender Emanuel Pogatetz could start, wearing a protective face mask following a broken cheekbone.

Isaiah Osbourne, on loan from Aston Villa, will make his home debut while Didier Digard should return to the squad after proving his fitness. Marvin Emnes could miss out with a cold.

Boro sit in 10th place in the Coca-Cola Championship after a run of just one win in their last five games and having taken only a point from the nine available since Gareth Southgate's departure.

Nottingham Forest manager Billy Davies may be able to welcome back striker Dexter Blackstock for the trip to Teesside.

Blackstock has missed the last three matches with a knee injury but could return for the clash at the Riverside.

Meanwhile, Wales internationals Chris Gunter and Robert Earnshaw will both be available for the trip.

Gunter overcame a virus which ruled him out of last weekend's clash with Scotland, while Earnshaw came through the friendly injury-free.

And defender James Perch is pushing for a place in the squad after successfully coming through a reserve friendly against Barnsley.

Perch played 55 minutes against the Tykes as he steps up his return from a stress fracture on his shin, which has kept him on the sidelines for six months.

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Topics:
Reading
Stoke City
Football
Championship
Robert Earnshaw
Gordon Strachan
Marvin Emnes
Emanuel Pogatetz
Dexter Blackstock
Nottingham Forest
Gareth Southgate
Chris Gunter
Barnsley
Aston Villa
Didier Digard
Middlesbrough
Isaiah Osbourne
Leroy Lita
Dave Kitson
James Perch

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