Football

Johnson back for Boro

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Middlesbrough winger Adam Johnson will return to the squad for the Coca-Cola Championship clash with Blackpool at the Riverside Stadium.

Johnson missed Saturday's 5-1 win at QPR - Gordon Strachan's first as manager - because of a family illness but is available as the Teessiders look for a first home win since Gareth Southgate's final game at the helm, a 2-0 victory over Derby on October 20.

Gary O`Neil (calf) and Rhys Williams (groin) should be fit but Marcus Bent is likely to miss out again with a hamstring problem while Caleb Folan (hamstring) has returned to Hull early from his loan spell.

Luke Williams, aged 16 years and five months, is once again in the squad and should be feature he will become the youngest player to play for Boro in 105 years.

Blackpool manager Ian Holloway will be forced to make changes to his injury-hit side.

Striker Ben Burgess is sidelined after he was substituted in only the third minute of the defeat against Barnsley with a knee problem. He was replaced by Jason Euell, who should be handed a starting role.

Midfielder Billy Clarke is absent after picking up a knee injury in the same game and is set to be replaced by Aston Villa loanee Barry Bannan.

Striker Stephen McPhee (knee), defender Danny Coid (hairline fracture of the tibia) and on-loan Plymouth defender Marcel Seip (hamstring) remain out.

The weekend defeat ended the Seasiders' unbeaten home run and Holloway will be keen to get their promotion hopes back on track.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

Topics:
Billy Clarke
Caleb Folan
Football
Luke Williams
Danny Coid
Championship
Gordon Strachan
Stephen McPhee
Marcel Seip
Derby County
Marcus Bent
Ben Burgess
Gareth Southgate
Jason Euell
Queens Park Rangers
Barnsley
Aston Villa
Middlesbrough
Hull City
Rhys Williams
Adam Johnson
Barry Bannan
Plymouth Argyle
Blackpool
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