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Clarets v Middlesbrough...match preview
8:02am Saturday 12th April 2014 in Football
Burnley will have virtually a fully-fit squad as they face Middlesbrough knowing a win could send them into the Premier League.
If the Clarets secure three points and nearest challengers Derby fail to beat Huddersfield, Sean Dyche's men would clinch automatic promotion and return to English football's upper echelon after a four-year absence.
Top scorer Danny Ings (ankle) returned in the midweek win over Barnsley, as did midfielder Dean Marney following his suspension while full-back Kieran Trippier (hamstring) was an unused substitute.
Midfielder Junior Stanislas (hamstring) is nearing a return while Wales international Sam Vokes, out for the season after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament, underwent a successful operation this week.
Middlesbrough head coach Aitor Karanka is facing a defensive crisis ahead of the trip to promotion-chasing Burnley.
Karanka will be without three members of the back-line which started the 3-1 Sky Bet Championship victory over Birmingham in midweek with Kenneth Omeruo, Ben Gibson and George Friend all missing.
Central defenders Omeruo and Gibson were both sent off against City and miss out through suspension, with the latter also banned for next weekend's home clash with Millwall as it was his second red card of the campaign.
Full-back Friend damaged an Achilles tendon during the same game and will join Seb Hines (thigh), Daniel Ayala (ankle) Rhys Williams (Achilles) and Stuart Parnaby (knee) on the sidelines. Striker Muzzy Carayol will miss the rest of the campaign, and perhaps the start of next, after undergoing surgery to repair his damaged anterior cruciate ligament.
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