Football

Leeds United Vs Middlesbrough, Sat 13 Aug 2011

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Leeds manager Simon Grayson hopes to have wingers Robert Snodgrass and Max Gradel back in contention for the home clash with Middlesbrough.

Snodgrass scored his first international goal as Scotland beat Denmark 2-1 in a midweek friendly while Gradel played the full 90 minutes in the Ivory Coast's 4-3 victory over Israel.

Both players came through unscathed but Grayson wants to assess their fitness before making any decisions.

Grayson has no new injury or suspension problems but was without striker Billy Paynter in the midweek Carling Cup win over Bradford.

Paynter sustained a thigh strain in the opening-day defeat at Southampton and left Grayson short of forwards, with Luciano Becchio (hamstring) not ready to return and Davide Somma a long-term absentee due to cruciate knee ligament damage.

Middlesbrough quartet Scott McDonald, Rhys Williams, Barry Robson and Tarmo Kink are expected to be back in contention.

All four players were away on international duty this week and missed the Carling Cup win at Walsall.

Australia striker McDonald, Wales defender Williams and Scotland midfielder Robson started in the opening-day draw with Portsmouth, while Estonia forward Kink was on the substitutes' bench.

Manager Tony Mowbray is hoping the club can finalise contract talks with Julio Arca in time for the Argentinian to take his place in the squad, but latest signing Faris Haroun will not be in contention.

Belgium international midfielder Haroun is expected to complete all the paperwork and seal his move to the Riverside over the weekend.

Defender Matthew Bates will retain the captain's armband despite continued speculation linking him with a move to Swansea.

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Topics:
Football
League Cup
Scott McDonald
Davide Somma
Julio Arca
Matthew Bates
Robert Snodgrass
Middlesbrough
Billy Paynter
Rhys Williams
Matthew Bates
Luciano Becchio
Barry Robson

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