The former Real Madrid assistant witnessed his new side lose 2-1 at Leeds United last week, and the Spaniard will be keen to make a positive impression in front of the club's supporters.
Karanka will be without goalkeeper Jason Steele, after he was dismissed at Elland Road.
Bolton endured a dismal start to the season, but four wins in an unbeaten run of eight matches has helped the Trotters move into 15th position in the league table.
Striker Jermaine Beckford has played a key part in their resurgence, netting five times in his last six games.
Bolton Wanderers: WDDWWW
Possible starting lineups
Middlesbrough: Leutwiler; Richardson, Friend, Woodgate, Ayala; Leadbitter, Adomah, Smallwood, Kamara; Emnes, Carayol
Bolton Wanderers: Lonergan; McNaughton, Baptiste, Mills, Ream; Danns, Kamara, Spearing, Pratley, Lee; Beckford
Sports Mole says: 1-1