Football: Weekend guide to the Premiership

Middlesbrough v Blackburn Rovers Last season: No fixture
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The Independent Online
WHAT STARTED off as a bad week for Middlesbrough with Gazza's turmoil took a turn for the bizarre with Bryan Robson's pounds 3m signing of Brian Deane from Benfica. The fans must be wondering where all this madness is leading to, if not back to the First Division, but at least the injury crisis at the Riverside is abating, with Curtis Fleming and Robbie Mustoe both back in the squad. Vladimir Kinder and Phil Stamp will both have late fitness tests, but 14 other squad members remain on the casualty list.

Expect today's game to be a battle of the walking wounded, however, with Blackburn ravaged by injury problems of their own. Kevin Davies is hoping to make an unexpected return after a month out with a throat abscess. Roy Hodgson, the Blackburn manager, admits he would have preferred to have given Davies more time to recover but Rovers' record signing will play because of the desperate situation at Ewood Park. If Davies starts the game, he could be partnered by Jason Wilcox.

MIDDLESBROUGH (from): Beresford, Fleming, Gordon, Festa, Vickers, Cooper, Summerbell, Townsend, Mustoe, Ricard, Beck, Deane, Campbell, Kinder, Stamp, Stockdale.

BLACKBURN ROVERS (from): Flowers, Davidson, Sherwood, Peacock, Henchoz, Flitcroft, Wilcox, Duff, Kenna, Johnson, Croft, Fettis, Davies, Dunn, Taylor, Worrell.

Injuries: Middlesbrough: Schwarzer, Gascoigne, Pallister, Maddison. Blackburn Rovers: Gallacher, Dailly, Filan, McKinlay.

Suspensions: Middlesbrough: None. Blackburn Rovers: None.

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