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Team News: Middlesbrough name unchanged starting XI for playoff clash with Aston Villa

Team News: Boro boss Pulis names unchanged XI
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Middlesbrough boss Tony Pulis names an unchanged starting XI for Saturday's Championship playoff semi-final first leg against Aston Villa.

Middlesbrough boss Tony Pulis has named an unchanged starting XI for Saturday's Championship playoff semi-final first leg against Aston Villa.

Boro ended the regular season with a 2-2 draw against Ipswich Town last weekend and Pulis stated that he would keep faith with the same players from that game.

This means that striker Patrick Bamford, who has scored 13 goals this season, will begin the game on the bench, and Britt Assombalonga will lead the line at the Riverside Stadium.

As for Villa, John Terry returns to the heart of defence and Jack Grealish, Robert Snodgrass and Lewis Grabban all start.

Albert Adomah has got the nod at wide left against his old club despite Jonathan Kodjia's recent return from injury.

Sam Johnstone has made it to play in goal after his partner gave birth last night, while former playoff winner Mile Jedinak will play in midfield alongside Conor Hourihane.

Middlesbrough: Randolph; Shotton, Ayala, Gibson, Friend; Clayton, Besic, Howson; Traore, Downing, Assombalonga
Subs: Dimi, Cranie, Fabio, Fry, Leadbitter, Harrison, Bamford

Aston Villa: Johnstone; Elmohamady, Chester, Terry, Hutton; Jedinak; Snodgrass, Hourihane, Adomah, Grealish; Grabban
Subs: Bunn, Samba, Whelan, Bjarnason, Onomah, Hogan, Kodjia

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Baggies boss Tony Pulis reacts on September 10, 2016
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Norwich CityNorwich21134438241443
2Leeds UnitedLeeds21126335181742
3Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd21114634241037
4Derby CountyDerby2111463124737
5West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom21106544301436
6Middlesbrough219932314936
7Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest21810332221034
8Aston Villa218854132932
9Birmingham CityBirmingham217953025530
10Stoke CityStoke217952725230
11Blackburn RoversBlackburn217952731-430
12Swansea CitySwansea218582523229
13Bristol City218582524129
14Queens Park RangersQPR218492531-628
15Preston North EndPreston216783235-325
16Wigan AthleticWigan2174102329-625
17Sheffield WednesdaySheff Weds216692738-1124
18Brentford215793332122
19Hull City2156102130-921
20Rotherham UnitedRotherham214982132-1121
21Millwall2147102635-919
22Reading2146112634-818
23Bolton WanderersBolton2146111529-1418
24Ipswich TownIpswich2118121737-2011

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