Middlesbrough's potential TRIPLE injury boost ahead of Sunderland clash in Championship
Sunderland travel to the Riverside Stadium to face local rivals Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium tonight.
The Championship fixture kicks off at 8pm on Teesside with Tony Mowbray returning to the club he once played for and managed as Sunderland’s new head coach.
Mowbray won his first game as Black Cats boss after a 3-0 victory at the Stadium of Light against Rotherham United last week.
Ex-Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder is now in charge at Middlesborough, with the North East club looking to push for promotion to the Premier League this season after missing out on the play-offs last year.
However, Wilder is expecting Darragh Lenihan and Jonny Howson to play some part in the Tees-Wear derby. Howson suffered a back injury recently while Lenihan has struggled with an ankle knock.
Wilder could be further boosted if goalkeeper Zack Steffen returns after the Manchester City loanee missed the last two games against Watford and Swansea City with a knee issue.
Speaking at his press conference ahead of the game to local media, Wilder said: “Thankfully, everybody’s okay for the weekend, everybody’s fit."
Chuba Akpom, though, is still on the injury list after the Boro striker tweaked his knee against Sheffield United. “Chuba should be available for the game after the international break [Coventry City away],” Wilder said when asked for an update on his expected return.
Sunderland have taken 11 points from their seven games back in the Championship so far this season. A win could see Mowbray’s men move into the play-off positions.