Boro will be without defender Sam McQueen who tore a cruciate ligament in his knee in Wednesday’s 1-0 win over Crystal Palace in EFL Cup.
Middlesbrough midfielder Sam McQueen might just have played his last game for the club, Tony Pulis has confirmed.
The Southampton man, who joined Boro on loan in the summer, tore a cruciate ligament in his knee during his team’s 1-0 win over Crystal Palace on Wednesday.
"Sam's news is not good," Pulis said while speaking to the press in the build up to Saturday’s game.
"He's done his cruciate so I don't think we'll have him for a very long time. We're talking to Southampton now to see if he'll stay here to recover or if he'll return to his mother club."
In addition to McQueen, Middlesbrough will be without a number of key players on Saturday, including defender Daniel Ayala who is suspended for the game after picking up five yellow cards this season, while full-back Ryan Shotton may also miss out once again due to injury.
"I don't think Shotts will be ready in time for Saturday's game," Pulis said about Shotton who has missed last three games for the club due to a knee injury.
While Middlesbrough will be coming into this game with a depleted squad, Stoke also have their fair share of injuries coming into this game.
Saturday’s game has come too early for midfielder Peter Etebo who has started training this week after a hamstring injury.
Fellow midfielder Sam Clucas is also a doubt for the game, though Stoke manager Gary Rowett has claimed that he will make a late decision on the midfielder.
Another player who might miss out for Stoke is striker Mame Diouf, who is back in training after a knee injury. Rowett further said that he has multiple players carrying small injuries, though he didn’t reveal any names.
The last time Stoke and Middlesbrough faced each other was in the 2016/17 Premier League, with Stoke coming out as 2-0 victors that day.
Their last meeting with each other outside the Premier League took place in February 1998, a fixture in which Middlesbrough came out on top, winning the game 2-1.
Stoke are coming into this game after losing their last match at home. The last time they lost successive home games in the Championship was in November 2007, when they lost three in a row.